When the forecast spelled rain for Saturday, it forgot to mention a drying track halfway through the intermediate class’ qualifying sessions. The dry patches were not quite big enough for slick tyres yet but it did complicate things on an already complicated surface grip-wise. Add to that the lesson of Moto3, which saw Q1 riders at a significant advantage, and riders had a lot on their plate for those crucial 15 minutes. However, the biggest trouble for Luca Marini came before he even set off, when Maverick Viñales came to the rescue with a reminder that the young Italian was missing his knee sliders. From then on, it was plain sailing and Thai GP winner secured his first pole position of the season with an advantage of over a second.
The Flexbox HP40 squad joined SKY Racing in celebration as both their men made it to the front row, Augusto Fernandez ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri. Despite his FP3 heroics, Alex Marquez never looked like a threat for pole but the championship leader secured a second row start ahead of Q1 escapees Jorge Navarro and Somkiat Chantra, although the Thai rider ended the session with a small tumble at turn one. Tom Luthi opens the third row of the grid ahead of Marco Bezzecchi, who made it through Q1, limped to the pits with a technical problem halfway through Q2 and still posted a lap good enough for eighth position. Marcel Schrotter flew under the radar but secured the final spot available on row three.
Remy Gardner was significantly faster than the opposition in Q1 but misjudged his timing for a brave gamble on slick tyres in Q2 and could not post a time on them, dropping to tenth on the grid and sharing fourth row with a season best result for Stefano Manzi and a sensible 12th position for rookie Enea Bastianini. However, the big story of Q2 was Brad Binder, the KTM rider last throughout the session and almost five seconds slower than the poleman.
|5||9||Jorge NAVARRO||Speed Up||2'02.411||1.426||0.105|
|11||62||Stefano MANZI||MV Agusta||2'02.714||1.729||0.027|
|Q2||9||Jorge NAVARRO||Speed Up||2'03.620||0.488||0.488|
|21||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Speed Up||2'04.349||1.217||0.130|
|25||20||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA||Kalex||2'05.642||2.510||0.166|
|28||77||Dominique AEGERTER||MV Agusta||2'06.355||3.223||0.395|