The Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina played host to an entertaining Moto3 qualifying session today, with some unexpected results including a sixteenth place for early championship leader Joan Mir.
A light rain shower made life difficult for the riders, with most struggling to improve their lap times. In the end it was left to John McPhee to pick up the third pole position of his career and his first since the final round of 2015 in Valencia.
The Scotsman will be joined on the front row by Nicolo Bulega and Jorge Martín, who both joined Mir on the podium in Qatar. Aron Canet, Fabio di Giannantonio and Romano Fenati will gun for Argentinian glory from the second row.
It was an incident-packed session for the Mahindra Pull&Bear Aspar Team, with Albert Arenas being launched into the air on the very first lap. The Spaniard was taken straight to the Medical Centre and after being given the all clear he returned to the garage to make a final attempt at a qualifying lap.
Even the arrival of a rain shower was not enough to deter Arenas, who pushed on to lap just 0.999 shy of pole position to secure nineteenth place on the grid for tomorrow.
19th Albert Arenas 1’50.093 (5 laps):
“I had a big crash on my first lap. I was on the right line, in a group, but lost grip and crashed. I didn’t think I would make it back out because I was in pain everywhere and the bike was quite badly damaged. They checked me over, my left hand was particularly painful, but as soon as they ruled out any injuries I just tried to forget it, pushed hard and tried to make the most of all the hard work we had put in during practice. As soon as I went out it started to rain, I could see some riders stopping and even though my visor was a little steamed up I knew I had to chance it. I think we could have done a little better today but in the end we have taken a step forward and now I just need to rest and recover for tomorrow.”
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