Aron Canet claimed the first pole position of the 2019 Moto3 World Championship and the first of the new qualification format, which has been introduced to Moto3 and Moto2 for this year.
The fourteen fastest riders from free practice were joined by the four fastest from Q1 in a decisive Q2 shootout for pole, and after a preseason that has been dominated by Tony Arbolino and Romano Fenati, followed closely by Canet, it was the Spanish KTM rider who came out on top today – the Italian pair qualifying seventh and eleventh respectively.
The front row is completed by Lorenzo dalla Porta and Kaito Toba, with John McPhee, Niccolò Antonelli and Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team rider Albert Arenas lining up behind them on row two.
The Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team celebrated a double top ten tonight, with Albert Arenas and Raúl Fernández qualifying sixth and tenth respectively in what was a positive start to the season for the team.
Arenas pulled out the stops on his final lap, finishing six tenths shy of pole, to secure a second row start whilst Fernández came through Q1 and outpaced several more experienced Moto3 riders to qualify at the head of row four.
6th Albert Arenas 2:06.526:
“I am happy because tonight was the first qualifying with the new format and we came through it well. You have more time in a 40-minute session to set the bike up but with just fifteen minutes, and such a long track, you only really get one shot. At the start I was getting some vibrations from the tyres but I just had enough time for one more lap. A second-row start is positive, we have done a good job so far but there is more to do in the race tomorrow.”
10th Raúl Fernández 2:06.673:
“I am very happy although I have to admit I was very nervous during qualifying. There were a few doubts that we could make it through Q2, but we did it and then we ran with the best out there to qualify tenth. I was very cautious at the start of Q2 and was careful with the front end, because I didn’t have much rubber left affter coming through Q1, but I did my best time on a used tyre. We have worked on riding alone during preseason and free practice, so now it is easier for me to get a slipstream and set a good time.”
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