As the MotoGP paddock arrives in Europe for the first time this season the hot and sunny Spanish weather at Jerez made finding grip an important aspect of qualifying.
Though traffic also played a big part in the slightly cooler first run Moto3 session both classes pole times came from well timed laps – Fabio Quartararo took his first with a late lap just before the rest of the field all took to the track at once, where in Moto2 it was Rabat’s early fast lap which dominated the timesheets as the temperature rose.
Qualifying Reports :
First on the day’s schedule Moto3 saw Estrella Galicia rider Quartararo take pole at just his fourth race weekend. The rookie French rider looked easy on his first attempt around a track he had cut his teeth on in the Spanish championship and a well timed run lead him to pole as his rivals hit traffic.
Danny Kent saw his fast time evaporate as he tangled with the riders who followed the Leopard Racing rider out of the pits, though his previous run saw him set the second best time.
The front row is completed by Miguel Oliveira the best placed KTM rider behind the Honda pair, for the Ajo team.
His Red Bull team-mate Brad Binder will start fro fourth with an amazing lap from Philipp Oettl pushing him up to fifth, Karel Hanika also earns a row two start despite a late tumble in sixth on the third Red Bull entry.
Italians Enea Bastianini (Gresini) in seventh , Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) in eighth and Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) in ninth complete row three with Estrella Galicia’s other rookie rider Jorge Navarro completing the top ten.
John McPhee and the whole Saxoprint RTG team struggled to find the right settings for Jerez and starts 25th.
Tito Rabat always puts in a large amount of laps, but it was just his eleventh trip around Jerez which landed him pole, set when there was still over 23 minutes left on the clock.
The last sector caused trouble for many of the riders as the grip levels fell, but with a few wobbles on the way EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Rabat looked back to his confident best as he put in many consistent laps, though he was also not quite able to reach his best lap time from early in the session.
He is joined on the front row by fellow Spaniard Alex Rins, the Moto2 rookie landing his first front row start since moving up to the class with the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 team. An all Kalex front row was completed by AGR rider Jonas Folger, the German holding third despite spending much of the session in the pits with a mechanical issue.
Tom Luthi starts fourth as he continues to push on his performance after moving to a Kalex chassis with the Derendinger Interwetten Racing team. Taka Nakagami’s very early timesheet topping lap held on well to leave him fifth, a crash putting an end to any thoughts he had of pushing in the closing stages.
British rider Sam Lowes takes the final spot on row two in sixth for Speed Up a good performance at a track where the team expected to struggle in the heat.
Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) starts seventh, Axel Pons bounced back from his injury woes in eighth for the AGR Team and Johann Zarco took tenth after an early crash for Ajo Motorsport. Julian Simon also placed inside the top ten for QMMF Racing.
For full Moto3 results click here
For full Moto2 results click here