Moto3 Jerez: Late push sees Dalla Porta grab maiden pole

Lorenzo Dalla Porta put in a perfectly timed lap at the end of the session to secure pole ahead of the Moto3 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Moto3 Jerez: Late push sees Dalla Porta grab maiden pole

Lorenzo Dalla Porta will start the Moto3 Spanish Grand Prix from pole position for the first time in his career after hitting the top of the timesheets as the session drew to a close in Jerez.

The Leopard Racing rider, who did not know he had set the best Q2 time of 1m 46.011s immediately as his dashboard had stopped working, left it until the closing minutes to make an impression aboard his Honda after struggling all weekend. The team put in hard work to be at the top when it counted, insuring his first time inside the top ten of any session so far this race weekend resulted in his first Grand Prix pole.

With many of the top performers so far this season not making it directly through to Q2, Q1 was set up to be competitive and didn’t disappoint - Tatsuki Suzuki came through with the best time, alongside the Bester Capital Dubai teammates - championship leader Jaume Masia and Andrea Migno, with the trio joined by Celestino Vietti.

Suzuki continued where he left off in the battle for position, forcing his way up to second after a string of fast laps, though the SIC58 Squadra Corse riders time from Q1 remained faster than the pole time.

Vietti also made the best of his track time after a slow start to the weekend to be the top rookie performer, claiming his first front row start for Sky Racing Team VR46. He was also the top KTM rider.

Austin's pole sitter, Niccolo Antonelli, had a lot of company on his final run. Flanked by Raul Fernandez, Masia and Andra Migno, the pressure and lack of track space caused errors and wobbles which saw him lose enough time to end his challenge fourth on the second SIC58 Squadra Corse entry.

Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) climbed to fifth while the now fully fit Gabriel Rodrigo was a solid sixth for Gresini.

A frustrated Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) finds himself down on row three for race day after bike issues hindered his progress. The joint championship leader following his Texas triumph ended his day climbing over the tyre wall to leave the circuit after slapping his failing machinery as it stopped at turn six.

Masia, who is equal on points in the standings, did not flourish after his arrival from Q1. He put in his best performance in his rookie year in Jerez last season so holda a good record at the track, but could only manage a best of 15th in qualifying today.

Ramirez claimed eighth on the second Leopard entry, completing a strong day for the team, while Albert Arenas took the chequered flag in ninth on his return form injury for the Angel Nieto team.

Romano Fenati tried everything to gain improvements - including following pole man Dalla Porta for his final run - but could only manage a time good enough for tenth despite his efforts for the VNE Snipers team.

A late trip trhough the grass ended Jakub Kornfeil's best attack, he will sit in 12th on the grid for Redox Pruestel GP, just behind Ayumu Sasaki who will fill eleventh for Petrnoas Sprinta Racing.

Andrea Migno made the least progress of the Q1 riders, setting the 13th best time at the end of Q2.

John McPhee had a quiet day - having shown promise after topping FP1 on Friday, the Briton was unable to match those heights during the crucial qualifying session, leaving him down in 14th for Petronas Sprinta Racing.  

Wildcard Stefano Nepa (Fundacion Andres Perez 77 KTM) impressed on his return to the paddock when he made it straight through to Q2, the Italian starts 16th . His team-mate Meikon Kawakami will be 31st on his grand prix debut after a late fall in Q1.

Qatar winner Kaito Toba was pushing hard towards the end of Q1 after leaving it late to leave the pits - the tactic didn’t pay off - a turn one tumble saw him unable to improve and the Honda Team Asia rider will sit in 24th on the grid.

Argentina’s runner-up Darryn Binder found the going tough and could only manage a best of 25th. His colleague at CIP Green Power, Britain’s Tom Booth-Amos, was 30th after almost getting caught up in Vincente Perez’s qualifying crash.