The battle for the first pole position of the season got underway with wind blowing dust and sand back onto the track, impacting visibility but more for the cameras than for the riders and we got a taster of the kind of Moto3 drama we can expect this season once again.
After dominating Q1, Ayumu Sasaki headed straight to the top in Q2 with a half second advantage, although Dennis Foggia halved that gap before the calm before the time attack storm set in. Sasaki wasn’t keen on the unusual pitlane shenanigans and headed out before the cat and mouse games started, but he struggled to improve his already pretty solid benchmark while riding on his own. Most of his rivals got a couple of chaotic laps to try to dethrone the Japanese rider and orange was the predominant colour on the timing screens, until Izan Guevara used a slipstream to perfection to claim his maiden pole position in the world championship on the very last lap.
Sasaki’s early benchmark still secured him second on the grid, while Jaume Masia made a late jump onto the front row in third. Andrea Migno and compatriot Dennis Foggia will be starting on the second row, ahead of Ryusei Yamanaka, with John McPhee, Sergio Garcia and Tatsuki Suzuki making up row three. Rookie Ivan Ortola cruised through Q1 to qualify in the top 10 at the first try and within a second of pole, sharing fourth row with Carlos Tatay and Deniz Öncü. Another notable mention goes to fellow rookie Daniel Holgado, who escaped Q1 at the last second, pushing class veteran Stefano Nepa out and then qualifying 15th on the grid.
UPDATE: Izan Guevara, Dennis Foggia and Tatsuki Suzuki received penalties for irresponsible riding in qualifying. Guevara loses pole and they will all start at the back of the grid with one long lap penalty to serve. Foggia was served an additional long lap penalty for moving abruptly on the straight.
|28||87||Gerard Riu Male||KTM||2'08.779||3.298||0.509|