John McPhee will start from pole position for the third time in his Moto3 career after an impressive display in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo. The Briton, who finished second in the season opener at Losail, edged out Nicolo Bulega for pole with early championship leader Joan Mir down in sixteenth despite dominating free practice.
The session began in dramatic fashion for Aspar Mahindra’s Albert Arenas who suffered a horrendous highside on his first timed lap of the afternoon. The Spaniard walked away from the scene despite a painful fall through the gravel and a collision with his own motorcycle and to his immense credit, rejoined the session later on to qualify nineteenth.
Mir had looked set to continue his practice form after going fastest on his very first attempt but surprisingly, the Leopard rider would barely improve in the remainder of the session. Within five minutes, he was knocked off the top by Andrea Migno before the pole spot was traded between two other Italians, Romano Fenati and Fabio Di Giannantonio towing each other to front row positions.
With thirteen minutes to go, Qatar polesitter Jorge Martin moved to the top but his spell on provisional pole was rather brief, McPhee clocking a 1:49.094 seconds later to secure top spot. With rain starting to fall in the closing stages, his place at the front of the grid was safe.
Nicolo Bulega bucked the trend late on, improving where others didn’t, to go second ahead of Martin while Aron Canet edged out Di Giannantonio and Fenati to head the second row. Juanfran Guevara knocked Migno down to eighth while Tatsuki Suzuki and Philipp Oettl completed the top ten.
Moto3 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina: Qualifying Result
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