Today was a strange day in Moto3 qualifying, as someone other than the usual man in Jorge Martin took pole position.
Martin must have been running out of room in his watch cabinet at this point, but still must have been extremely disappointed to see championship rival Marco Bezzecchi take pole position after his crash at Brno which also ruled him out of the race and lost him the championship lead, but still would be satisfied with starting a heroic second place.
The session started off wet, the Austria weather a polar opposite to Brno the week previously, and the first person to get bitten was the Scot, John McPhee as he crashed at turn 4. Gabri Rodrigo soon followed him on the floor as Vicente Perez went fastest on the Avintia KTM. Bezzecchi soon took over at the top however with 25 minutes remaining. He was soon replaced by Aron Canet, who had been building, then there was a flurry behind him as Arbolino, Bastianini and Ogura joined Canet and Perez in the top 5 pushing Bezzecchi out.
With 20 minutes remaining Jaume Masia assumed the lead, following Darryn Binder, but was then replaced at the top by first Bezzecchi, then Canet again. Bezzecchi would then take a tumble at turn 3, the front just folding as it wiggled on the way in. Albert Arenas and Arbolino would push Bezzecchi out of the top 3 as McPhee had his second crash of the session with 12 minutes to go.
With 10 minutes to go the sun finally broke the clouds, and a dry line started appearing fast. Perez would make it hard for himself by folding the front at turn 3 and going down, his session was done and he had dropped out of the top 20 in any case. Bastianini and Ogura had improved to second and fourth respectively, as the confirmed Moto2 graduate next year alongside Bezzecchi, Oettl, was the first to brave slick tyres. He would soon go fastest by 4/10ths of a second, but soon had it taken away by the gritty Martin and Niccolo Bulega jumped to second.
With 3 minutes left, the times started tumbling and the lead changed hands so much it was impossible to follow. As the chequered flag waved the man who emerged as the man on pole was Bezzecchi, followed by Martin and both would be joined on the front row by the impressive Arenas. Canet would head up the second row, and Brno winner Fabio DiGiannantonio would start a very disappointing 16th.
With all to play for tomorrow, will Bezzecchi extend his championship lead? Will Martin produce more heroics with his broken arm? Find out here on NowMoto!
Full results here.
Featured image credit- http://www.motogp.com