With the cloud cover looking less menacing than this morning and the temperatures climbing to more familiar numbers, the lightweight class was up to the challenge from the off.
So eager were they that Bo Bendsneyder cut off some corners to lead briefly before the rapid time was cancelled. That didn’t bother him much and the Dutchman climbed back into top positions while playing around with Aron Canet. The first run ended with Bulega on top by a narrow six thousandths of a second margin but his rivals were unable to put together all the red sectors popping up throughout the second run.
The real fight was set to start in the final minutes on fresh rubber but most riders were feeling brave and risked it on one flying lap, only joining the track with three minutes remaining – a particularly risky game for Romano Fenati who was in eleventh position at the time. The Italian was the last to leave pitlane but he kept his cool and put together a pole-worthy lap one tenth of a second faster that Joan Mir.
The world championship leader was on provisional pole only five second before, Fenati striking close behind him with no slipstreaming help whatsoever. The two title rivals will be joined on the front row of the grid by the recently prolific poleman Gabriel Rodrigo.
John McPhee might have looked a little in trouble throughout practice but when it mattered the Scotsman fired in a lap fast enough for fourth place on the grid. The second row was completed by two other surprising performers given practice results, Niccolo Antonelli in fifth and Andrea Migno in sixth spot.
Bendsneyder looked fast during all three runs but somehow found himself bumped down to the third row of the grid, next to early leader Nicolo Bulega. Jorge Martin aimed for reduced running to aid his recovery and a top ten placement - mission accomplished in ninth spot on the grid.
Juanfran Guevara could not keep the front row run going and only qualified tenth, ahead of Kaito Toba and Fabio di Giannantonio. Aron Canet was one of the few riders who went out early for the final run in order to get some more laps in but the Spaniard dropped back to seventeenth positon once the fast men posted their late times.
|12||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||2'13.841||0.995||0.071|
|21||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||2'14.244||1.398||0.010|