Often the support class categories have a similar feel but the two qualifying sessions at Jerez for the Spanish Grand Prix had a decidedly different qualities this round.
Moto3 got proceedings under way at a very hot Jerez. Though the lack of grip and struggle for good times was already apparent Red Bull KTM rider Jack Miller still managed a late surge for pole, his third in a row, taking the pole position record at the track in the process.
His three consecutive poles are a first in the junior class for any Australian rider.
|Kallio keeps the poles coming for Marc VDS Photo: Marc VDS
Over half a second adrift was the championship leaders nearest rival Niccolo Antonelli for Go & Fun. It is the Italians third front row start.
The final rider joining the KTM 1-2 on the front row is highest placed Honda rider Alex Rins.
The third row is filled by team Calvo’s Isaac Vinales after being the early leader in the session and Alex Rins team-mate Alex Marquez.
Sixth goes to Francesco Bagnaia who was already in a good position before bike issues hit late in qualifying for the Sky Racing VR46 team.
Fastest in practice eventually meant nothing for Efren Vazquez who had to settle for seventh in the highly competitive session.
Niklas Ajo makes a comeback of sorts after an eventful Argentinian Grand Prix to secure eighth, the best placed of the Husqvarna pair.
John McPhee kept his fans on the edge of their seats only securing ninth in the final moments.
A winner last weekend, Romano Fenati finds himself just making the top ten fastest qualifiers.
Danny Kent was on the front row in for round three but this time starts from 13th on the grid.
Maria Herrera has all eyes on her for her second wild-card ride in Moto3 and managed a lap strong enough for 16th on the grid, easily outdoing regular female rider Ana Carrasco who starts from 28th.
Herrera is currently joint leader of the Spanish Moto3 Championship.
Moto2 was an upside down affair with the rising temperatures meaning most of the best times were set down in the first half of the session.
After cooling down himself and his bike with fans, Finland’s Mika Kallio went out and set the pole lap on just his eleventh circuit of the track, his second pole in Moto2 and first of the season.
Taking top spot on the grid means Marc VDS still hold a clean sweep for pole positions in Moto2 – all the previous rounds saw Tito Rabat first to line up on the grid.
Sandro Cortese had shown promise by topping practice but could only manage a time good enough for second as Kallio knocked him from the top of the timesheets.
Bucking the trend was Luis Salom who found something extra at the death to steal the final front row place for an all Kalex top three, a best qualifying giving him top rookie status in the process.
The Spaniards move demoted Tom Luthi to fourth, though still a massive improvement for the Swiss rider after a tough start to the season. He is the best placed Suter rider on the grid.
Dominique Aegerter found himself racing for position on his way to fifth. Pole regular this season Tito Rabat was sixth – he had sat out much of the final practice session as work to replace his engine began, possibly a contributing factor to his performance.
The top eight were all within half a second of the top time. Rookies Jonas Folger and Maverick Vinales fill seventh and eighth places and will have the pace to push in the race.
Ninth went to Tech 3 rider Marcel Schrotter with a frustrated, bike hitting Johann Zarco looking for his first points not of the penalty kind from tenth.
Sam Lowes starts from 15th despite a late fall, Gino Rea struggled to a slightly better 27th.
Moto3 Jerez Top Ten Qualifiers:
Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 1m 46.173
2. Niccolo Antonelli Junior Team GO&FUN (KTM) 1m 46.788
3. Alex Rins Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 1m 46.867
4. Isaac Vinales Calvo Team (KTM) 1m 46.867
5. Alex Marquez Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 1m 46.884
6. Francesco Bagnaia SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 1m 47.012
7. Efren Vazquez SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 1m 47.049
8. Niklas Ajo Avant Tecno Husqvarna (Husqvarna) 1m 47.262
9. John McPhee SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 1m 47.329
10. Romano Fenati SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 1m 47.378
Moto2 Jerez Top Ten Qualifiers:
Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 42.766
2. Sandro Cortese Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 1m 43.060
3. Luis Salom Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 43.174
4. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 1m 43.222
5. Dominique Aegerter Technomag carXpert (Suter) 1m 43.232
6. Esteve Rabat Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 1m 43.234
7. Jonas Folger AGR Team (Kalex) 1m 43.235
8. Maverick Vinales Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 1m 43.256
9. Marcel Schrotter Tech 3 (Tech 3) 1m 43.501
10. Johann Zarco AirAsia Caterham (Caterham Suter) 1m 43.513