Aron Canet continued his domination of the Losail circuit to take his first pole position since Germany 2017.
Canet, who ended Friday’s free practice sessions on top, produced an impressive lap-time of 2:05.883 to put his Sterilgarda Max Racing Team machine on pole. Canet was the only rider to record a 2:05 lap-time.
He will be joined on the front-row by Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who was forced to settle for second after hitting traffic late in the session. Kaito Toba completes the front-row for Honda Team Asia.
John McPhee will start from fourth after Andrea Migno’s final lap was ruled out for exceeding track limits. The Scot will line-up alongside Niccolò Antonelli and Albert Arenas.
Tony Arbolino continued his fine form from pre-season testing to quality in seventh, with Celestino Vietti (eighth), Vicente Perez (ninth) and Raul Fernandez completing the top 10.
Following the removal of his final lap-time, Migno will start down in 17th.
The opening Q1 session of the new-style Moto3 qualifying system was a frantic one as the riders looked to get a quick lap-time in before time ran out.
With just over three minutes left of Q1, McPhee went top with a 2:06.718. The Scot picked up a great slipstream coming down the straight. He would be knocked off top spot in the dying seconds by Vietti, who recorded a lap-time of 2:06.689.
They would be joined by Ai Ogura (third) and Fernandez (fourth) in the qualifying positions for Q2.
Moving into Q2 and it was Toba who set the early benchmark with a 2:06.109. His time at the top was short lived thought as Canet become the first, and only, rider to dip into the 2:05 lap-times.
Toba tried to respond instantly but got caught in a large group on track and lost time in the second half of the lap.
Romano Fenati headed out onto the track with just over two minutes remaining, but his team had waited far too long, and it was impossible for him to make it back round before the flag.
With less than a minute to go McPhee put in his personal best lap-time (2:06.308) to move up onto the front-row in third.
Behind him, Dalla Porta was on a flying lap and looked set to challenge Canet for pole. However, he also fell victim to a busy track and lost too much time. His lap-time of 2:06.090 put him second on the grid.
Migno popped up into third in the dying seconds, however his time was ruled out and he dropped down the order to 17th. This elevated McPhee to fourth spot.
Nobody could get near Canet however as he took his fourth career pole. Tomorrow’s Moto3 race is scheduled to begin at 14:00.