The sun shone on the intermediate class and so did Alex Marquez, the Spaniard leading the field on his home playground for much of the qualifying session and finding half a second on the fastest time of the weekend on only his fourth lap. The time went unchallenged until the final shootout stated with ten minutes to go of the session, although to underwhelming results, with only a handful of changes throughout the grid. Marquez ended up scoring another pole position on home ground and will be hoping to repeat the pole-win trick from Barcelona.
World champion Franco Morbidelli kept within a tenth of his teammate following an early fast lap and will start the final race of the year from the middle of the front row. Mattia Pasini showed up to the party on Saturday afternoon and jumped straight on the front row, ruffling some feathers in the process, starting with the poleman himself.
It was more of the same for Brad Binder, consistency never an issue with the South-African, who climbed into fourth position and settled there until teammate Miguel Oliveira snuck ahead. Binder could not retaliate as he crashed lightly in turn four and was stuck with fifth. The KTM duo will share the second row of the grid with Dominique Aegerter.
Takaaki Nakagami finished seventh, to open the third row ahead of Pecco Bagnaia, the two being the final men within half a second of pole. Two tenths back, Xavi Vierge will join them on the third row.
A dreadful day at the office continued for Forward Racing, both of their riders outside the top twenty-five positions.
|9||97||Xavi VIERGE||Tech 3||1'35.653||0.603||0.186|
|19||24||Simone CORSI||Speed Up||1'36.033||0.983||0.011|
|21||37||Augusto FERNANDEZ||Speed Up||1'36.043||0.993||0.008|
|25||87||Remy GARDNER||Tech 3||1'36.189||1.139||0.024|
|29||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||1'36.397||1.347||0.064|