2018 Sepang Moto3 QP Result: But This One Goes To 11

Jorge Martin grabbed his 11th pole position of the season and set a lap record in the process at the Sepang circuit Saturday. Martin's 2'11.731 easily topped the previous Moto3 lap record of 2'12.078 held by current Moto2 rider Joan Mir. And better still for the championship leader, it puts him in front of his chief rival for the championship, Marco Bezzecchi. 

But just barely in front. This applies to final lap times (a mere three-hundredths) and points (one dozen with two races to go). Bezzecchi who will start next to Martin in Sunday's race, also broke Mir's lap record to seize the second spot on the grid. Completing the first row is Tony Arbolino who has been fast all weekend regardless of track conditions.

John McPhee, who with a minute to go seemed the likely pole-sitter, will lead the second row after a furious final minute dropped him from the top spot. Albert Arenas grabbed sixth, just in front of Enea Bastianini (6th). Behind them is the all-Japanese third row with Tatsuki Suzuki (7th), Kazuki Masaki (8th) and Ayumu Sasaki (9th). Niccolo Antonelli completes the top 10.

But the focus of Sunday's race will be the two riders at the front. All through qualifying, the pair marked each other, trading fastest times. Martin, mathematically, can secure the championship Sunday if his final position compared to Bezzecchi's gives him the 26-point cushion he needs to clinch before the final race. Bezecchi, given his points deficit, can't clinch unless he scores at least 13 points more than Martin and Martin can't race in the final in Valencia.  

Result:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 88 Jorge MARTIN Honda 2'11.731    
2 12 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 2'11.763 0.032 0.032
3 14 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 2'12.065 0.334 0.302
4 17 John MCPHEE KTM 2'12.081 0.350 0.016
5 75 Albert ARENAS KTM 2'12.211 0.480 0.130
6 33 Enea BASTIANINI Honda 2'12.222 0.491 0.011
7 24 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 2'12.543 0.812 0.321
8 22 Kazuki MASAKI KTM 2'12.627 0.896 0.084
9 71 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 2'12.637 0.906 0.010
10 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 2'12.679 0.948 0.042
11 40 Darryn BINDER KTM 2'12.748 1.017 0.069
12 31 Celestino VIETTI KTM 2'12.763 1.032 0.015
13 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 2'12.797 1.066 0.034
14 48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 2'12.812 1.081 0.015
15 44 Aron CANET Honda 2'12.873 1.142 0.061
16 10 Dennis FOGGIA KTM 2'12.940 1.209 0.067
17 72 Alonso LOPEZ Honda 2'12.975 1.244 0.035
18 7 Adam NORRODIN Honda 2'13.089 1.358 0.114
19 42 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM 2'13.113 1.382 0.024
20 27 Kaito TOBA Honda 2'13.160 1.429 0.047
21 77 Vicente PEREZ KTM 2'13.181 1.450 0.021
22 84 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM 2'13.644 1.913 0.463
23 16 Andrea MIGNO KTM 2'13.679 1.948 0.035
24 41 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda 2'13.718 1.987 0.039
25 65 Philipp OETTL KTM 2'13.955 2.224 0.237
26 9 Apiwath WONGTHANANON KTM 2'14.502 2.771 0.547
27 81 Stefano NEPA KTM 2'14.692 2.961 0.190
28 76 Makar YURCHENKO Honda 2'14.868 3.137 0.176
Round Number: 
18
2018
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