The first qualifying session of the day was greeted by sunshine but also quite a bit of wind along the main straight – not that the lightweight class needed any encouragement to seek a suitable tow. After the usual game of pitlane charades, the Indonesian Racing Gresini Team played the winning strategy by sending their riders together and despite the big gaggle of riders waiting to mooch off provisional poleman Gabriel Rodrigo, the Argentinian rider needed no help in securing pole position with a three tenth advantage on his teammate, having helped Jeremy Alcoba into second position. Despite being over three tenths slower than the poleman, Niccolò Antonelli secured a front row start, while compatriot and FP3 leader Stefano Nepa opens row two. Rookie Izan Guevara was the first one out in Q2 and briefly held provisional pole before dropping down to an excellent fifth on the grid, with Q1 leader John McPhee completing row two.
Teammate Darryn Binder also climbed into seventh position and will be joined on the third row of the grid by Tatsuki Suzuki and Jaume Masia, after the Spaniard escaped Q1. Although the timing screens were all red and orange for the final flying laps, the gaps throughout the field were not quite as small as we’re used to in Moto3, with Riccardo Rossi in 10th place almost a second off pole. Romano Fenati looked good for most of the session but the lack of a tow cost him somewhat and he dropped to the fourth row, ahead of Deniz Öncü.
A very competitive Q1 session cost a few riders dearly, including Sergio Garcia, who missed out on Q2 places by seven hundredths of a second and starts 19th. Andrea Migno’s late crash at turn 5 left him 21st and championship leader Pedro Acosta has another challenge on his hands from 25th on the grid.
|26||19||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda||1'49.812||1.283||0.069|