|In control again:Tito Rabat Photo: Marc VDS|
Moto3 kicked off the qualifying ahead of the Catalunya Grand Prix with the laps as hot as the weather over 40 minutes and almost as hard fought as a race.
Estrella Galicia rider Alex Marquez maiden pole position brought Honda their third pole of the year, and hope that an elusive win may come their way in Spain.
Second on the grid went to a consistent Enea Bastianini who lapped strongly from the off – the Go&Fun Gresini rider obliterating his previous best qualifying performance of 13th in the process.
Marquez’s team-mate Alex Rins held on for third despite suffering a hefty crash, which resulted in a suspected fractured toe and a check up before warm-up scheduled for Sunday.
Brad Binder gave Mahindra something to shout about as he pushed his Ambrogio bike to the top end of the timesheets, eventually heading up the second row from an excellent fourth.
Niklas Ajo continues to prove that the Husqvarna can put in as good a performance as the factory counterparts with a equal career best of fifth after some great solo laps of the Montmelo track, easily out-qualifying his team-mate Danny Kent who starts 19th.
Team Calvo’s Isaac Vinales took sixth ahead of Miguel Oliveira’s Mahindra in seventh.
Efren Vazquez missed most of the session as the SaxoPrint-RTG team battled to fix his electrical fault, the Spaniard recovered to secure eighth on the grid in the closing minutes.
Jack Miller found himself off the front row for the first time this season as traffic once again prevented the Australian from getting in a late flying lap, leaving the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider in ninth.
John McPhee again left it late to zoom up the standings with a late lap moving him into tenth spot.
Maria Herrera returns for another wild-card with the Estrella Galicia team and starts 24th. Regular female rider Ana Carrasco walked away from a vicious crash, though the accident left her last in the standings.
Moto2 was dominated by Tito Rabat who set his top time early in the session with worsening grip seeing the chasing pack unable to challenge the Spaniard.
Rabat’s fifth pole of the year crowned another great performance for Marc VDS who also had Finn Mika Kallio place second, though a huge 0.571s behind his team-mate.
The very yellow Pagina Amarillas Pons bike of Maverick Vinales took third, the rookies first front row start in Moto2.
Sandro Cortese held on to fourth despite crashing his Dynavolt Intact GP machine. He is joined on the second row by fellow German Jonas Folger in fifth, after losing a fast last lap to traffic and Mattia Pasini, who towed his way to sixth using Vinales and Rabat,the latter using the opportunity to poke fun with a ‘How’s the tow?’ sticker aimed at the Forward rider.
Interwetten’s Tom Luthi was the top Suter in seventh, just beating AirAsia Caterham rider Johann Zarco to the honour, with the Frenchman eighth by a small margin.
British rookie Sam Lowes is ninth and the top Speed Up rider as his change back to his previous settings seemed to pay off. Fellow Brit Gino Rea starts 28th.
The top ten is completed by the ever consistent Dominique Aegerter for the Technomag team.