2018 Valencia Moto3 Qualifying Result: Watching Asphalt Dry

The clouds had dispersed significantly by the time the first of the qualifying battles started and Marco Bezzecchi went straight to the top of the timesheets on lap three but his early progress quickly came to a halt in turn eight the next time around. He was able to remount but while he was dusting himself off, Can Oncu stole the spotlight and then repeated the Italian’s feat of immediately joining the gravel trap at turn eight. That was just the cherry on top of the early crash bonanza, which also included Marcos Ramirez, Celestino Vietti or Andrea Migno. The men who profited more from all the commotion were Raul Fernandez and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat the duo trading the lead until the Thai rider found half a second on the opposition.

Things deceptively appeared to settle for a while, as dry patches started to appear but then the final eight minutes restarted the battle and red sectors appeared throughout the field, from the leader to Philipp Oettl in 29th position. Pole was eventually settled when Tony Arbolino crashed the party on slick tyres and went a second faster than the field to secure his second career pole position. Atiratphuvapat came close to making history but ended up two tenths of a second short, although more than enough to achieve his best qualifying performance in the class. John McPhee popped up on the radar only on his final lap and it got him the final position available on the front row.

Oncu narrowly missed out on front row honours in his Moto3 debut but the Turkish youngster placed excellently in fourth position, ahead of class headliners like Aron Canet and Bezzecchi. The Spaniard was slow to warm up, starting his session towards the bottom of the top 20 but he was there when it mattered at the end to score fifth on the grid, while Bezzecchi recovered from the early niggle to start sixth. Ramirez replicated the Italian’s feat of sliding out early in turn eight and then recovering to seventh and sharing third row with Jakub Kornfeil and Albert Arenas.

Fernandez dropped back to tenth while FP2 leader Alonso Lopez joined the turn eight tumble gang and could not do any better than eleventh, ahead of Vicente Perez. World champion Jorge Martin could not pull another rabbit out of the hat and will start 13th, in the familiar company of Enea Bastianini and Fabio di Giannantonio on row five.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 14 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 1'46.773    
2 41 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT Honda 1'47.017 0.244 0.244
3 17 John MCPHEE KTM 1'47.116 0.343 0.099
4 61 Can ONCU KTM 1'47.336 0.563 0.220
5 44 Aron CANET Honda 1'47.431 0.658 0.095
6 12 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 1'47.776 1.003 0.345
7 42 Marcos RAMIREZ KTM 1'47.783 1.010 0.007
8 84 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM 1'47.796 1.023 0.013
9 75 Albert ARENAS KTM 1'47.826 1.053 0.030
10 25 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 1'47.880 1.107 0.054
11 72 Alonso LOPEZ Honda 1'47.896 1.123 0.016
12 77 Vicente PEREZ KTM 1'48.069 1.296 0.173
13 88 Jorge MARTIN Honda 1'48.124 1.351 0.055
14 33 Enea BASTIANINI Honda 1'48.216 1.443 0.092
15 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda 1'48.357 1.584 0.141
16 5 Jaume MASIA KTM 1'48.435 1.662 0.078
17 10 Dennis FOGGIA KTM 1'48.543 1.770 0.108
18 24 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 1'48.614 1.841 0.071
19 40 Darryn BINDER KTM 1'48.772 1.999 0.158
20 48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 1'48.894 2.121 0.122
21 27 Kaito TOBA Honda 1'49.027 2.254 0.133
22 22 Kazuki MASAKI KTM 1'49.469 2.696 0.442
23 19 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM 1'49.696 2.923 0.227
24 31 Celestino VIETTI KTM 1'49.802 3.029 0.106
25 71 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 1'49.980 3.207 0.178
26 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 1'50.011 3.238 0.031
27 65 Philipp OETTL KTM 1'50.145 3.372 0.134
28 16 Andrea MIGNO KTM 1'51.870 5.097 1.725
29 81 Stefano NEPA KTM 1'52.119 5.346 0.249
30 26 Izam IKMAL Honda 1'53.093 6.320 0.974
Round Number: 
19
2018
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