While the temperatures were up from the morning practice session, qualifying started with a long wait for a slipstream and some heavy crashes early on. The story repeated in the final few minutes, when many riders were on the lookout for a fast man to tag to the back of, which left them with only one lap to make their case for pole position.
After trailing his teammate for much of the session, Jorge Martin had the best proposition and grabbed pole on a dramatic last lap. With plenty of penalties waiting to be applied to the current grid, as it stands, the Spaniard will share the front row with John McPhee, the Scotsman’s final lap saving him from the claws of the bottom half of the timesheets.
Morning leader Joan Mir had an eventful afternoon, the Spaniard high-siding in turn one and sliding down the tarmac towards turn two with bikes riding past. With his bike stuck on the wrong side of the track and no time posted, Mir was only able to rejoin in the final ten minutes. His last lap saw him make the jump from twenty-second to third, the world championship leader completing the front row of the grid.
Fabio Di Giannantonio looked set for pole after leading most of the session but a mistake on the vital last lap saw him drop to the second row of the grid. Just a few minutes after Mir, Nicolo Bulega had an even scarier crash in turn twelve while running third, the Italian having to stop for a medical check as he was already struggling with a back injury. He was deemed fit and the Sky VR6 team fixed the bike in time for one final push with three minutes remaining. The Italian didn’t improve on his time but it proved good enough for fifth. The second row was completed by a still impressive Juanfran Guevara.
Romano Fenati was slightly better placed before the final run but could only manage seventh place in the end, with Marcos Ramirez and Bo Bendsneyder adding some more KTMs to the mix in third row.
Aron Canet will start the race in fourteenth position, with Darryn Binder behind him, Enea Bastianini in seventeenth and, despite a good showing during the weekend, Tony Arbolino in twenty-second. At least until the penalties hit.
|4||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||1'57.595||0.419||0.225|
|19||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||1'58.300||1.124||0.021|