Clear skies and over twenty degrees were a more familiar setting for the Spanish circuit, as was the waiting around in Moto3 garages for a fast man to follow. After the initial shenanigans were done, the lightweight class got down to business and Joan Mir laid down a marker for his rivals to chase. With the world championship leader not exactly a qualifying expert with only one pole to his name, the likes of Aron Canet and Martin smelled an opportunity on the next run.
Martin fired the first shot the second time around and mugged Canet after trailing the EG 0,0 rider on track. The luxury tow did not make the ultimate difference, Canet letting him through on the next lap and Martin going on to extend his lead by nearly half a second. With ten minutes remaining and the calm before the storm setting in, only four riders had managed to get within a second of the Gresini racer’s benchmark.
The final run started with a demonstration of pretty poor maths, several riders making it over the line by the skin of their teeth for one fast lap. They still found time to waddle around looking for a tow or trying to avoid giving one. In the rush for one final lap, drama ensued, Martin sliding out in turn twelve but his good work paid off and no one could improve on his previous benchmark, awarding the rapid Spaniard another pole position.
Soon after Martin touched the gravel, a pile-up filled the turn 15 run-off, a highside for Adam Norrodin taking Joan Mir, Juanfran Guevara, Fabio di Giannantonio and Andrea Migno out of contention for pole. Enea Bastianini ended up as the big winner, the Italian speaking onto the first row of the grid in second position. Despite his heavy FP3 crash and also sampling the scenery by running off on his outlap, Canet preserved his front row start, just behind his teammate.
Nicolo Bulega also benefited from the world championship leader’s misfortune, the Italian going fourth and taking future teammate Dennis Foggia with him on the second row of the grid. Mir fell back all the way to sixth, hardly unfamiliar territory for the Spaniard.
John McPhee had quite the dreadful start to his qualifying session, which made his improvement all the more impressive, the Scotsman’s last lap placing him on the third row of the grid. Behind him will line up Philipp Oettl in eighth, who also took a big tumble in FP3, and Tatsuki Suzuki in ninth spot.
The top ten was completed by Marcos Ramirez, the final rider to post a time within a second of Martin’s pole position. Romano Fenati had been keen to do work on his own all weekend but the strategy did not turn out great on Saturday at least, the Italian down in eleventh position, ahead of recent pole expert Gabriel Rodrigo.
Maria Herrera did not take part in the qualifying session and retired from the rest of the weekend as a consequence of her damaged collarbone.
|14||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||1'59.271||1.204||0.094|
|22||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||1'59.535||1.468||0.022|