|More Records For Rabat Photo: Marc VDS|
A windy Valencia saw Moto3 get qualifying under way for the final time this season, and in a session which often felt like a race it was to be a final charge from Junior Go & Fun rider Niccolo Antonelli which would see the Italian take pole, the first of his career despite suffering an early crash.
The rest of the front row is where the championship title battle rivals sit – Jack Miller did his best to move the KTM riders up through the order, though Antonelli’s lap was his own work, with the Red Bull KTM man knocked out of the top spot in the final moments, second by just a difference of 0.068.
Alex Marquez crashed on the way to a nervous third. Mind games were key between the Estrella Galicia rider and the Australian from the off with Miller staring down Marquez into the pits. The Spaniard crashed at turn two with seventeen minutes to go when leading the way and never recovered or improved from there on.
Row two features the KTM of Calvo’s Isaac Vinales, Marquez team-mate Rins who mainly ran alone, with Karel Hanika moving up to sixth behind his fell Red Bull rider Miller before a late crash.
Their Ajo team-mate Niklas Ajo sits in seventh ahead of the Hondas of SaxoPrint-RTG team-mates of John McPhee in eighth and Efren Vazquez in ninth.
Juanfran Guevara, continued to improve as the season draws to an end and seemed to be propelled up the order after a promise of a small MotoGP test if he hits the podium to complete the top ten for Mapfre Aspar.
A race winner this season, Romano Fenati returned to his troubled qualifying form in 14th.
Already a champion, Tito Rabat seems focused on setting new records as after already taking the most Moto2 poles ever he now moves into the lead for the record for the whole intermediate class securing his eleventh pole this season at the Cheste circuit at the close of qualifying.
The Marc VDS rider also has the biggest points tally in his sights for race day. Rabat’s record breaking pole denied Caterham’s Johann Zarco at the last moment.
The French Suter rider was forced into settling for second. They are joined on the front row by Franco Morbidelli for Italtrans, the Italians first ever front row start.
Row two sees the Suters of Interwetten rider Tom Luthi and Gresini’s Xavier Simeon line up in fourth and fifth respectively. They are joined by Tech 3’s Marcel Schrotter in sixth after an impressively fast set of laps by the German on his Mistral.
AGR Team rider Jonas Folger finds himself at the front of row three, he is joined by the battle for second with Maverick Vinales just ahead of Mika Kallio on the Finn’s Birthday, both shuffled down after a flurry of late laps.
Vinales Paginas Amarillas HP 40 team-mate Luis Salom qualified in tenth.
Sam Lowes starts 14th for Speed Up. Fellow Brit Gino Rea was 32nd, couragous as he was impeded so badly by his injuries he needed to be lifted on and off the bike.