Moto3 Catalunya: Early pace from Rodrigo enough for pole position

Gabriel Rodrigo saw his first flying lap hold firm at the top of the timesheets to hand him pole position ahead of the Moto3 Catalunya Grand Prix
Moto3 Catalunya: Early pace from Rodrigo enough for pole position

Gabriel Rodrigo saw his risky strategy to put in a late flying lap not pay off, but luckily his early pace was enough to remain on top of qualifying for the Moto3 Catalunya grand prix and hand him pole position.

The Kommerling Gresini rider missed out on a second chance at a flying lap - arriving at the finish line as the chequered flag came out - but had already done enough when he set a timesheet topping 1m 48.450s lap on his first run, a near perfect lap aided by a little slipstream.

Ai Ogura was in a large group of riders who all had red sectors on their final run, and came closest to toppling the Argentine - finishing just 0.02s adrift to take a superb second on the grid for Honda Team Asia also marking the rookies best ever qualifying performance after coming through Q1.

Third went to Mugello polesitter and race winner Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) completing an all Honda front row after he too made gains on his final attack.

Tatsuki Suzuki was also in that pack, climbing to fourth for SIC58 Squadra Corse after being the fastest rider to come through Q1.

The session wasn’t faster than FP3, where championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) was the final rider to set the new all time lap record to end the session on top. In qualifying he had to settle for fifth but was the best of the KTM riders.

Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) was shuffled back to sixth, while Alonso Lopez made gains after some co-operative riding between him and his Estrella Galicia 0,0 team-mate Sergio Garcia saw him climb to seventh (Garcia starts 13th).

Jaume Masia finished the session eighth for Bester Capital Dubai, while Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) had his final run wrecked after he was collected in Niccolo Antonelli’s second fall of the session, leaving him down in ninth.

John McPhee never found an improvement on his first flying lap, which was enough to keep him inside the top ten at the end of the session for Petronas Sprinta Racing.

Darryn Binder looked set for a final lunge to move up the order but was behind Dalla Porta and Antonelli as their incident unfolded hampering his progress and ruining his final hot lap - he starts 16th.

In Q1, Can Oncu had gotten off to a stronger start on Friday, but failed to progress when it counted - the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start 20th, just ahead of an under performing Romano Fenati in 22nd and wildcard Ryusei Yamanaka who returns with Estrella Galicia again in Spain, claiming 21st.

British rider Tom Booth-Amos was furthest off the pace in 31st for CIP Green Power. 

Celestino Vietti went for the same line as Jakub Kornfeil, who held firm leaving the unfortunate rookie in the gravel at turn five on what was looking like his best lap of the day, he was the only Q1 faller.

Niccolo Antonelli and wildcard Carlos Tatay (Fundacion Andreas Perez 77) joined them off track right at the start of Q2 -Antonelli was tagged by the bike of the already fallen Spaniard - neither set a time during the session.