2015 Qatar Moto3 Qualifying Practice Result: Pole Man Withstands General Assault

Results and summary of Moto3 QP:

Alexis Masbou has taken his first ever pole in Moto3, posting a fast lap with four minutes of the session left, setting a mark nobody else could match.

Qualifying, was a tumultuous affair, teams working together to give each other tows and leapfrog past one another in pursuit of a fast lap. Miguel Oliveira led for a large part of the session, taking over from Niccolo Antonelli's early lead. Oliveira's lead came under sustained attack in the last ten minute so of the session, top slot changing hands several times before Masbou set a mark no one else could quite match. It was not for want of trying. In the last two minutes, Antonelli, Pecco Bagnaia, John McPhee, Andrea Locatelli and Miguel Oliveira all came close, setting faster times through the first three sectors, but losing too much in the final sector to beat the Frenchman.

Masbou's pole came with help from some teamwork, but it was the teamwork of a rival team, the Red Bull KTM riders working for their own times, but Masbou cleverly using the opportunity to pull out of the slipstream and across the line first. 

Isaac Viñales took 2nd, just seven hundredths behind Masbou, while Niccolo Antonelli takes the last slot on the front row. Pecco Bagnaia heads up row two, with John McPhee beside him, and Fabio Quartararo in 6th, an impressive result from the French youngster. Quartararo had been riding with his teammate Jorge Navarro in pursuit of a fast lap, but ended up trying to set a lap on his own, losing out down the front straight.

Results.

  No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 10 Alexis Masbou Honda 2'06.170    
2 32 Isaac Viñales Husqvarna 2'06.237 0.067 0.067
3 23 Niccolò Antonelli Honda 2'06.245 0.075 0.008
4 21 Francesco Bagnaia Mahindra 2'06.253 0.083 0.008
5 17 John McPhee Honda 2'06.254 0.084 0.001
6 20 Fabio Quartararo Honda 2'06.293 0.123 0.039
7 55 Andrea Locatelli Honda 2'06.323 0.153 0.030
8 44 Miguel Oliveira KTM 2'06.378 0.208 0.055
9 52 Danny Kent Honda 2'06.426 0.256 0.048
10 7 Efren Vazquez Honda 2'06.465 0.295 0.039
11 11 Livio Loi Honda 2'06.551 0.381 0.086
12 9 Jorge Navarro Honda 2'06.574 0.404 0.023
13 41 Brad Binder KTM 2'06.729 0.559 0.155
14 98 Karel Hanika KTM 2'06.815 0.645 0.086
15 76 Hiroki Ono Honda 2'06.829 0.659 0.014
16 31 Niklas Ajo KTM 2'06.891 0.721 0.062
17 5 Romano Fenati KTM 2'07.099 0.929 0.208
18 95 Jules Danilo Honda 2'07.195 1.025 0.096
19 2 Remy Gardner Mahindra 2'07.235 1.065 0.040
20 40 Darryn Binder Mahindra 2'07.250 1.080 0.015
21 33 Enea Bastianini Honda 2'07.308 1.138 0.058
22 65 Philipp Oettl KTM 2'07.320 1.150 0.012
23 19 Alessandro Tonucci Mahindra 2'07.325 1.155 0.005
24 58 Juanfran Guevara Mahindra 2'07.387 1.217 0.062
25 88 Jorge Martin Mahindra 2'07.459 1.289 0.072
26 84 Jakub Kornfeil KTM 2'07.602 1.432 0.143
27 91 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 2'08.035 1.865 0.433
28 63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin KTM 2'08.040 1.870 0.005
29 16 Andrea Migno KTM 2'08.350 2.180 0.310
30 12 Matteo Ferrari Mahindra 2'08.497 2.327 0.147
31 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Mahindra 2'08.753 2.583 0.256
32 6 Maria Herrera Husqvarna 2'09.431 3.261 0.678
33 53 Marco Bezzecchi Mahindra 2'09.757 3.587 0.326
34 61 Loris Cresson KTM 2'13.015 6.845 3.258

 

Round Number: 
1
2015
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Comments

It's so strange to see Romano Fenati start from 17th. He looked like the upcoming superstar from Italy just a few years ago, and with every race win you think, "this is it, now he's a title challenger". But then he qualifies way down the grid again and again, occasionally fighting his way back to the front but overall just not consistently fast.

He continues to mistify me as well.

I have an odd feeling it's all in his head. You can hardly convince me that a rider of such class has such great oscillations with setup and whatnot.

I think that he can be fast anywhere, anytime, but for some reason that is other than his skill or his machinery, is not.

Because of this, I don't think he will ever be particularly successful in Moto3, and I sure hope he doesn't get stuck in there forever like some other riders, even though his stature compliments the class perfectly.

Quartararo however, shows great promise. Rookie or not, I would not discard him for a race podium or even win tomorrow.

To qualify so well on a track you don't know, even if you're on a machine you do know, is just something else.

I wonder if he could do a Marquez in Moto3.

Fairly disappointed with Enea and Binder.

I was convinced that Binder on a KTM would be a title challenger. Tomorrow's race will tell the tale better, but so far it seems like I couldn't have been further from the truth.

Nice to see Remy Gardener in the top 20. Isn't Randy Mamola's son racing this year as well or he just in the Spanish series?