The first qualifying battle of the day was a battle against gravity for most of the two sessions. Baking hot, little grip and high stakes made a tricky blend for the lightweight class riders but Tatsuki Suzuki found the perfect balance to grab his first pole position at his SIC58 squad’s home race. The Japanese rider took a risky gamble by sitting out that final part of Q1 but then took his place at the top of Q2 early on and rivals failed to dethrone him.
Aron Canet came closest, the Spaniard leaving it late to set a lap but still coming one tenth away from pole. Tony Arbolino is starting to show up his face at the sharp end as the weekend progresses and joined the front row of the grid. Jaume Masia also found some speed to claim fourth, ahead of a late charge that placed rookie Celestino Vietti fifth. Niccolo Antonelli led the way in Q1 but his teammate stole his thunder in Q2, leaving the Italian sixth.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta was probably fearing the worst when he felt his front tyre sliding in turn nine, the tumble making him miss the final seven minutes of qualifying, but he only lost two places to seventh spot. Albert Arenas could not quite match his Friday heroics but still snatched a sensible third row, in the middle of a Leopard Racing mix, behind the championship leader and ahead of Marcos Ramirez.
The two most unlucky men of qualifying were Gabriel Rodrigo and Romano Fenati. The Gresini man showed great speed in FP3 but went from hero to zero when both of his fastest laps got cancelled for exceeding track limits in Q2 and will start 16th. Fenati starts another two places back after crashes in both Q1 and Q2.
|7||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'43.185||0.341||0.014|