Rain and lightning made have seen the paddock relegated to the back of their garages for FP3 but luckily, the skies cleared in time for the fight for the front row so who impressed in qualifying and who fell short?
Raúl Fernández – Fernández’s weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts. After a cancelled FP3, he had to settle for 22nd fastest overall which landed him into Q1 but the Spanish rookie wasn’t going to settle for that and claimed second in Q1, earning himself a place in Q2. He then went on the deliver a beautiful 2’31.847 to claim his first front row start in his Moto3 career. Fernández has had an impressive start to his Moto3 career as he made his way into Q2 in all three rounds and also finished within the points in both Qatar and Argentina. We look forward to seeing what the rookie can do from second.
Niccolò Antonelli – Antonelli’s ever-improving performance continued as the VR46 academy rider claimed his first pole position since Qatar last year. He had been third fastest in the combined timings from FP1 and 2, sending him straight through into the Q2 session where he held off the rest of the field to claim the top spot for tomorrow. The Italian rider has shown amazing improvement since last season and currently sits fourth in the championship standings so, hopefully, he’ll be able to capitalise on his impressive qualifying performance to add some much-needed points onto his stash.
Darryn Binder – The weekend hasn’t been plain sailing for Binder so far. After finished 16th in the combined timings, he found himself in Q1 where he suffered a crash midsession but, luckily was able to remount and complete the session. The Argentina podium finisher wasn’t going to let one mistake rob him of a top spot as he topped the Q1 timings and earning him a spot in Q2. Once in Q2, Binder produced another blistering lap time to claim fifth for Sunday. We hope that his Q1 tumble will be the last time we see him on the floor this weekend.
Kaito Toba – The championship leader had Saturday to forget. Toba found himself battling in Q1 after only managing 23rd in the combined timings but a crash at turn 12 which saw his bike stranded in the middle of the road and the Japanese rider hobbling away meant that he was unable to improve on his position and had to settle for 24th. It was a less than ideal start to the third round and we hope that he is not feeling too battered and bruised for tomorrow’s race.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta – Dalla Porta’s weekend would have seemed like a decent weekend or even a winner for some riders but when you’re fighting for the championship title, you’d class your weekend as a failure. The Leopard Racing rider earned his automatic entry into Q2 as he was fourth in the combined timings but, unfortunately, that’s where his luck ran out. Dalla Porta was unable to finish the session any higher than 11th after crashing late on in the session. The Italian will be praying for some luck or at least a good start on Sunday so he can get to the front of the pack.
Aron Canet – Another title favourite who suffered this weekend was Canet. The Spaniard automatically qualified for Q2 after taking sixth in the combined timings but, much like Dalla Porta, a qualifying tumble meant that he was unable to improve on his position and will start from the second row in sixth. Canet will be hoping for a good getaway tomorrow and get amongst the front runners.
Full results here.
The weather forecasts are far calmer for race day but with a bumpy circuit and lots of points to prove, it really is anyone’s to win.