The long awaited dry track surface was delayed a little longer with rain flags waving just as riders headed out for Q1 and conditions got even worse by the time Q2 came about. The standout performers in the downpour were John McPhee and Raul Fernandez, the duo battling for pole until the checkered flag and it was the Scotsman who secured his fifth career pole position. Fernandez looked like he had secured second but his final flying lap got cancelled due to a yellow flag infringement... aaand then got reinstated so Fernandez will indeed start from the front row of the grid. Celestino Vietti retained third on the grid despite a late crash at turn six, his best time four tenths off pole.
Several crashes in the closing stages of Q2 proved costly for several other riders and changed the configuration of the rest of the grid. Ai Ogura’s yellow flag penalty allowed title rival Albert Arenas to step up to fourth on the grid, while Alonso Lopez was one of the late crashers, the Spaniard going down at turn 4 and then turn 2 but still securing a second row start ahead of Riccardo Rossi. Sergio Garcia in seventh position was the final rider to post a time within a second of pole, opening row three ahead of Ogura and Darryn Binder, with Kaito Toba heading the fourth row in the company of Andrea Migno and Q1 escapee Gabriel Rodrigo. The Argentine rider overcame two tumbles in Q2 and did well to qualify 12th after the swift repair job.
The big loser in the changing conditions of Q1 proved to be Jaume Masia, the Spaniard not quick enough before the rain properly arrived and that left him 28th on the grid and with quite a mission on his hands to keep in championship contention on Sunday afternoon.
|25||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Honda||1'48.518||2.773||0.336|