The first real rodeo of the day gained momentum throughout the session as the damp circuit started to dry and the battle for pole got heated, literally and metaphorically. Aron Canet fired the first shot as he climbed into provisional pole halfway through the session and it looked like Marco Bezzecchi would be his main challenger until the Italian slipped in turn three with 17 minutes left of the battle. While Bezzecchi was licking his wounds, Canet had a comfortable advantage of seven tenths of a second but with the worry of a brave rival trying on softs at last call.
The prediction became reality in the final five minutes when the pace got dramatically hot and it was all going to be a matter of timing and who could cross the line last to make the best of the ever improving conditions. Once again, Bezzecchi recovered fantastically to score his first pole position in the class and start his title lead defence from prime position. Jorge Martin could not let him rest on his laurels too much despite his injury and valiantly climbed into second on the grid, only seven hundredths of a second off pole. Albert Arenas chased his fellow Spaniard on his fastest lap and snatched the last spot available on the front row.
Canet had to make do with fourth, a whooping eight tenths of a second behind pole and with Tony Arbolino close behind. Gabriel Rodrigo was another early casualty of the conditions but the RBA racer recovered to a respectable sixth grid spot, over one second slower than Bezzecchi. Marcos Ramirez is set to open row three, ahead of Philipp Oettl and Enea Bastianini.
Moto3’s most recent victor had an underwhelming qualifying session, Fabio Di Giannantonio only qualifying 16th. Still, his day wasn’t as bad as John McPhee’s, the CIP rider falling twice in turn four with minor damage but enough to stop him from setting a competitive time, which leaves him starting the race last.
|11||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'40.406||1.789||0.111|
|16||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||1'40.712||2.095||0.104|