Forget the cataclysmic forecast for Saturday at the Red Bull Ring because qualifying sessions for the lightweight class started with a completely dry track that allowed riders to give their best in the fight for pole position. Dark clouds were purely spectators to all the cancelled laptimes but eventually they witnessed a second consecutive pole position from Raul Fernandez. The Spaniard was pretty subdued throughout the session but brought KTM their first accolade of the weekend with a fantastic final flying lap.
Albert Arenas had his sights set on pole as well, after briefly leading proceedings, but the Spaniard will start his defence of the championship lead from second on the grid. John McPhee will be there to keep him honest, the Petronas racer making a late jump onto the front row, only three hundredths of a second slower than the poleman.
Jaume Masia looked like a solid challenger throughout but had to settle for a second row start, alongside early session leader Celestino Vietti and Tatsuki Suzuki. Gabriel Rodrigo in seventh place was less than three tenths off the lead and opens row three ahead of Tony Arbolino and Q1 leader Riccardo Rossi. Deniz Oncu also escaped Q1 to score a solid tenth starting position alongside Brno victor Dennis Foggia and Andrea Migno, with championship contender Ai Agura down in 13th.
The final results were impacted by a late yellow flag brought out by Kaito Toba’s painful looking high side at turn 10 and the Japanese rider will have to start 17th. However, the most miserable men in the paddock will be Romano Fenati and Alonso Lopez, the two teammates starting from the very back of the grid after a disappointing Q1.
|28||89||Khairul Idham Pawi||Honda||1'38.094||1.062||0.171|