Despite all the talk of rain for the past 24 hours and the actual rain in the final practice session, there was no sign of it by the time qualifying came about. Under a bright and quite hot sun, lightweight class riders took to the track, albeit with quite a significant delay of looking around and waiting for someone to blink first to unwillingly offer a tow.
Once all riders joined the track for Q2, it was time for the Aron Canet show, the Spaniard testing the overtaking spot at turn nine with a move on Tony Arbolino and then taking a slipstream from Jaume Masia to put together a time one second faster than the opposition. With four minutes left of the session, Canet looked confident enough in his time that he just stopped pushing and the confidence proved justified as red sectors disappeared from the timing screens. The Spaniard sealed a Marquez-style second pole position of the season, despite a stint in Q1.
If Canet is a fairly familiar sight on the front row, the championship contender will have more unusual company, with rookie Ai Ogura becoming a consistent presence at the top end and with wildcard Carlos Tatay closing the front row. The fresh Red Bull Rookies champ has looked excellent throughout practice and easily made it through Q1 to join the select front row trio.
Jakub Kornfeil opens row two ahead of yet another rookie, Celestino Vietti, while Alonso Lopez secured sixth grid position. Arbolino could not benefit too much from following Canet for half a pole lap and the young Italian dropped to seventh spot. He will start Sunday’s race ahead of Misano victor Tatsuki Suzuki and Misano podium man John McPhee.
Ayumu Sasaki rounded out the top ten and will share fourth row with Dennis Foggia and championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who will have a bit of a challenge to defend his lead from 12th on the grid. Teammate Marcos Ramirez had an even worse afternoon, missing out on Q2 and banished to start 20th.
|12||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'59.449||1.252||0.042|
|24||67||Gerard RIU MALE||KTM||2'00.069||1.269||0.118|
|25||10||Julian Jose GARCIA||Honda||2'00.257||1.457||0.188|