Possibly feeling drowsy from the unexpected heat, the intermediate class qualifying session felt more like regular practice with the quick shootout at the end. Either way, Mattia Pasini has had enough of Alex Marquez hogging the headlines and went on to lead much of the session after a rapid second lap, the usual suspects in the top ten.
The final five minutes were predictably decisive but it was the man in provisional pole who showed his hand first by beating his own best time and putting another five hundredths of a second between him and Marquez. Much like an older Marquez, the Italian was scarily close to the limit on his pole lap but held it together to score a hat-trick of poles in the last three races.
Marquez was close but not close enough and paid the price for the slower second and third sectors, the Spaniard to be starting in the middle of the first row and next to teammate and championship leader Franco Morbidelli, who was only two hundredths of a second behind.
Takaaki Nakagami’s resurgence continues with a well-deserved fourth place on the grid, ahead of Luca Marini who narrowly missed out on equalling his best qualifying performance by four hundredths of a second. The second row of the grid was completed by Dominique Aegerter, the Swiss rider four tenths down on Pasini.
Lorenzo Baldassari’s new fairing assisted him in snatching seventh place in elite company, ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Tom Luthi, the usual podium contenders more than half a second slower than Pasini and complicating Luthi's title bid.
Simone Corsi completed the top ten, followed by rookie duo Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Navarro.
|10||24||Simone CORSI||Speed Up||2'07.271||0.699||0.026|
|13||97||Xavi VIERGE||Tech 3||2'07.606||1.034||0.224|
|19||87||Remy GARDNER||Tech 3||2'07.986||1.414||0.082|
|24||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||Kalex||2'08.531||1.959||0.226|
|29||37||Augusto FERNANDEZ||Speed Up||2'08.880||2.308||0.021|
|32||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||2'09.884||3.312||0.657|