... and two come along at once. If you’re Gabriel Rodrigo at least. In dry but not exceedingly warm conditions, the Moto3 class opened the qualifying sessions with Joan Mir in the place we left him in this morning: reigning at the top of the timesheets and it looked like a settled affair. But his pursuers were getting closer and closer as the session progressed and many looked to spoil the Leopard rider’s one-year anniversary since his first pole.
Halfway through the session, the likes of Bendsneyder, Rodrigo or Canet had made Mir’s time quickly tumble and leaving him with quite a challenge before all riders found the shelter of their garages to prepare for a final go.
The final run was done with an eye on the gathering clouds looking teasingly dark and another eye on the lookout for a worthy slipstream. The rain evaded the lightweight class and they were out all guns blazing for a two-lap affair that would light up the timesheets.
With thirty seconds left of the session, Gabriel Rodrigo installed himself on pole position and left his rivals with only one lap do better. Joan Mir looked set to take over top spot but lost out by five hundredths of a second. While Rodrigo would go on to take his second pole in as many weeks, luck would dump Mir in tenth position, after his best time was cancelled for exceeding track limits.
That left a joyous Juanfran Guevara lining up on the front row once again, next to his teammate and ahead of Aron Canet. Canet had a lot of ground to make up after his struggles in FP3 but did so in style and only two tenths of a second off pole. The Spaniard might have briefly upset his teammate but Enea Bastianini brushed it off and still got to the second row of the grid, in fourth.
The Italian will share the second row with John McPhee and Bo Bendsneyder, who looked like a serious contender for top honours for a while.
Andrea Migno got closer to expectations and set himself up on the third row of the grid, ahead of Philipp Oettl and Fabio di Giannantonio. Considering Romano Fenati’s angry gesticulations at his fellow Italian, it’s probably a good thing that Mir will separate the two on the grid, Di Giannantonio ninth and Fenati eleventh.
Jorge Martin seemed downright heroic getting as high as top three in the session but thirteenth place in the end is not that bad either, considering his physical condition. Another pleasant surprise was Jaume Masia, the new boy already showing promise in practice and turning it into a fifth row start, in fourteenth, ahead of the likes of Nicolo Bulega in sixteenth or teammate Marcos Ramirez in twenty-third.
|9||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||1'36.967||0.464||0.012|
|19||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||1'37.344||0.841||0.035|