Taking to the track for his home race weekend, Tony Arbolino made his intentions clear. Not only did her secure pole position, but he smashed the current lap record in the process.
A time of 1:56.407 secured him the ideal position for tomorrow’s race. He sat a comfortable 0.673s ahead of second placed Gabriel Rodrigo and his Kömmerling Gresini machine. The top three was rounded out by Lorenzo Dalla Porta.
Eager to secure his second win at Mugello, Andrea Migno will start this year’s race at the front of the second row. Lining up behind him will be team-mates, Tatsuki Suzuki and Niccolo Antonelli, on their SIC58 Squadra Corse bikes.
Arbolino’s team-mate, Romano Fenati, was only able to secure seventh. After his win here in 2014, he will be eager for a better day tomorrow. The top ten on the grid will be rounded out by Kaito Toba, Marcos Ramirez and, our championship leader, Aron Canet.
Qualifying 1 kicked things off with real drama – something Moto3 is famed for. The top spot was taken by Raul Fernandez, just ahead of Marcos Ramirez. Joining these riders, for much of the session, was wildcard rider Kevin Zannonion the RGR TM Official machine. He was sitting pretty in fourth until the final few seconds of the session but was swiftly shuffled down to twenty-fourth, where he will start tomorrow’s race.
A difficult day was faced by Celestino Viettion the SKY Racing Team VR46 bike as well as John McPhee on the Petronas Printa Racing machine. They will start in seventeenth and eighteenth respectively.
The drama didn’t just occur on the track today – after the session has ended, the stewards handed out three penalties.
Firstly, both Niccolo Antonelli and Tatsuki Suzuki were deemed to have “gained an unfair advantage” after they left the pitlane whilst the pitlane was still closed. As a result, they each had their first flying lap times from Q2 cancelled and received a fine.
The only penalty to affect the start grid for tomorrow’s race was given to Can Öncü, who was found to have been “riding slowly in three of more sectors in excess of the 112% limit of his fastest sectors”. As a result, he was given a whopping 12-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race and will start from the back of the grid.