MotoGP Qatar: Suzuki takes Moto3 pole, ninth for McPhee

| | MotoGP

SIC58’s Tatsuki Suzuki has taken the first Moto3 pole of 2020, bagging top spot in qualifying at the Qatar MotoGP round.

Suzuki came through qualifying one and set his 2’04.815 in his first run as he missed the second run while his mechanics sorted out a problem with his Honda.

The Japanese rider ended just 0.008 of a second clear of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez in second, with Aspar Team Gaviota’s Albert Arenas completing the front row.

There was plenty of late drama in the closing moments of the first qualifying session of 2020, all starting when Suzuki was unable to get in one final flying lap due to an issue with seat unit.

The Japanese rider got back out on track but was unable to get across the line before the chequered flag came out.

It didn’t look like anybody was going to threaten his 2:04.815, with Fernandez the only rider in touching distance. The former Junior World Champion exited the final corner in the perfect slipstream of teammate Kaito Toba but he came across the line just shy of Suzuki’s time and had to settle for second place, matching his career-best qualifying performance.

Completing the first front row of the 2020 Moto3™ World Championship is Arenas after he also moved from Q2. The Spaniard was the last man across the line in Q1 and with his final lap was able to clinch fourth spot before then going on to grab a fourth career front-row grid slot.

Heading row two for tomorrow’s lightweight class season opener is CIP Green Power’s Darryn Binder, who ended two tenths adrift of Suzuki’s pole lap. Joining the South African on the second row of the grid will be Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura and Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia.

SKY Racing Team VR46’s Andrea Migno fronts row three of the grid ahead of the best performing rookie Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in eighth and Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee. Rivacold Spiners Team’s Tony Arbolino completes the top ten and will sit alongside Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on row four.

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