A few extra degrees were added to the thermometer reading by the time the first qualifying session of the day unfolded but the lightly grey clouds were here to stay. The lightweight class opened proceedings with Niccolo Antonelli getting a taste for top spot without the familiar additional off-roading and proclaiming himself the early leader of Q2. Compatriot Celestino Vietti soon demoted him and the young Italian was leading as the calm before the storm set in.
Once the final time attack kicked off, Aron Canet’s machine was the first to blink and the Spaniard had to pull off with a mechanical and miss his shot at the second time attack. Meanwhile, his rivals were demoting him down the timesheets, with Antonelli looking set to take pole until a mistake in the final turn slowed him down. However, pole position on Spanish ground stayed with Italy, Lorenzo Dalla Porta scoring his very first pole and will hope to break the jinx of no winners from pole in Jerez. Tatsuki Suzuki was unlucky to miss out on top honours by only four thousandths of a second, while fellow Q1 qualifier Vietti completed the front row line-up.
Antonelli was forced to settle for fourth, starting ahead of compatriot Dennis Foggia and FP3 leader Gabriel Rodrigo. Despite the poorly timed mechanical, Canet got to keep seventh position and will share third row with home favourite Marcos Ramirez and Albert Arenas, whose return to action after missing two rounds due to injury was rewarded with ninth position on the grid.
Romano Fenati failed to dazzle this time around and could only round out the top ten, ahead of Ayumu Sasaki and Jakub Kornfeil. Andrea Migno survived Q1 to line up 13th on the grid, showing the way to John McPhee and championship leader Jaume Masia. Some casualties of Q1 were Tony Arbolino, Alonso Lopez and Darryn Binder, who will have to rely on an excellent start to bring them back into contention.
|1||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'46.011|