Del Conca Gresini’s Jorge Martin took Moto3 pole position by two-tenths in this morning’s qualifying session at Phillip Island as rain interrupted proceedings.
Martin had set the quickest time and as the field returned to the pits to wait for a final shootout but conditions deteriorate with some light rain, and that’s all she wrote. It is the Spaniard’s eighth pole of the year, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing) and championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) joining him on the front row.
“We’ve made a big step forwards. Yesterday we were a bit lost, but in today’s session I was quick, especially with used tyres which is a great thing ahead of the race. Obviously I’m really happy with my eighth pole of the year and we will surely try to get a good start in the race: the idea will be to try and pull away, but we need to stay calm and focused because it’s going to be a long race,” said Martin.
The rain on some parts of the track made it impossible to improve times, and that left some high and dry as the final push for grid positions was abandoned. Mir and Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) fought it out in the mid part of the session as the two went wheel to wheel on track in a teaser for what could await the crowds tomorrow, with the Italian lining up only two places behind Mir, taking fifth.
The man separating the two to head up the second row is Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team), with Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) completing the top six.
Manuel Pagliani (CIP) took seventh to head up the third row ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) showing more good pace on Saturday to complete the top ten.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Marco Bezzecchi (CIP), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing), Lorenzo dalla Porta (Aspar Mahindra Moto3) and Motegi podium finisher Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) round out the fastest fifteen – with Antonelli’s teammate Bo Bendsneyder another big name to miss out after some great pace all weekend; the Dutchman in 19th. Britain’s John McPhee will start from 25th.