Jorge Martin set a new all-time track record for Moto3 at Aragon to claim a sensational pole position on Saturday. The championship leader had flown under the radar for much of the qualifying session but unleashed a blistering final lap to take pole by over half a second from Jaume Masia and Enea Bastianini.
The Spaniard did have a slice of luck during the session with Honda Team Asia riders Nakarin Atiratphuvapat and Kaito Toba colliding at turn three. The Thai youngster tagged the back of his Japanese team-mate, sending him skywards, while Martin was fortunate to avoid being collected by the accident. Toba and Atiratphuvapat both escaped injury but will be forced to start from the back of the grid tomorrow, while Martin was free to continue in the session.
Gabriel Rodrigo had set the early pace during qualifying, immediately lapping quicker than anything seen in free practice, but the final scramble was always going to see the leaderboard shaken up, and so it proved. Marco Bezzecchi was the first to pull the pin, clocking a 1:57.855 with a minute to go, but the lack of a slipstream down the 1km back straight would ultimately prove his downfall as he tumbled back down the order.
Martin, meanwhile, had positioned himself perfectly and having followed Dennis Foggia through the first half of the lap, the Honda of wildcard Jeremy Alcoba provided the perfect tow towards the final corner, allowing Martin to set a remarkable 1:57.066 to secure his ninth pole of 2018. Masia and Bastianini followed close behind to take second and third respectively ahead of Tony Arbolino while Foggia proved that he was no roadblock for Martin, grabbing fifth in his own right.
Bezzecchi fell to sixth ahead of Niccolo Antonelli who will drop twelve places on the grid due to slow riding in free practice. His demotion will promote Rodrigo to seventh with Aron Canet and Fabio Di Giannantonio joining him on the third row tomorrow.
Moto3 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon (Qualifying)
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