The MotoGP paddock rolls into Europe for the first time this season at Jerez. Rookie Nicolo Bulega used his track knowledge from the Spanish championship to catapult himself to Moto3 pole, while Sam Lowes had support from his brother and a style right at home in Jerez for Moto2.
Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega set a 1.46.225s lap on his KTM to hold firm at the top of the timesheets as traffic on track became an issue for his rivals in qualifying for Moto3 at Jerez.
The rookie took his first pole after just five races in the championship.
He is joined on the front row by consistent championship leader Brad Binder for Red Bull KTM Ajo and the Honda of Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Jorge Navarro.
Aspar Mahindra rider Francesco Bagnaia starts fourth with row two completed by late crashers Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Enea Bastianini (Gresini) who had to wait and see how well their times would hold over the closing minutes.
Leopard Racing’s Joan Mir secured seventh on the grid ahead of Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing) in eighth Romano Fenati on the second Sky Racing VR46 bike in ninth and Jakub Kornfeil, who completes the top ten for Drive M7 SIC.
Peugeot Saxoprint rider John McPhee found enough time improvements for 25th after experiencing gearbox issues on his Mahindra, he out-qualified his team-mate Alexis Masbou by five places.
Albert Arenas returns to ride for Mahindra from this race onwards and was 16th, wild-cards come from Alex Rins’ Procercasa 42 Motorsport team – Enzo Boulum in 35th,and faller Davide Pizzoli slightly higher in 29th.
A late run of fast laps saw Gresini’s Sam Lowes slice down his own best lap time, leaving his pole lap at a final 1m42.408, the championship leader was one of very few riders to make improvements late in the session.
The three riders behind him on the timesheets all made their best laps at the start of the session, with Jonas Folger taking second on the grid ahead of his team-mate Sandro Cortese, who set his best on the Dynovolt Intact GP bike on just his third attempt.
Also flying early was Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli in fourth. He is joined on row two by Qatar winner Tom Luthi and Lorezo Baldassarri representing Forward Racing and still recovering from his collarbone damage.
Alex Rins was the top home representative in seventh for Paginas Amarillas HP 40, Simone Corsi starts 24th on the grid on his birthday for Speed Up, while Alex Marquez celebrated his in qualifying by taking ninth for Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.
Luis Salom completes the top ten for SAG Team. Just behind him on the gird id the best placed rookie, Luca Marini in eleventh on the second Forward entry.
Danny Kent finished one place behind his rookie team-mate Miguel Oliveira as he took fifteenth, one place ahead of frustrated and annoyed riegning champion Johann Zarco who could only manage 16th for Ajo Motorsport.
Federico Fuligni returns with Team Ciatti for a wild-card ride and starts last.
For the full Moto3 result click here.
For the full Moto2 result click here.