Gabriel Rodrigo was caught out by the chequered flag at the start of his final flying lap in qualifying at the Grand Prix of Catalunya but the Argentinean rider still hung on to pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya thanks to his previous best lap of 1’48.450. Rodrigo will be joined on the front row by Japanese rider Ai Ogura, who set his best time on his final lap, and Italian Grand Prix winner Tony Arbolino. Tatsuki Suzuki, Aron Canet and Albert Arenas will launch their challenge from the second row.
Albert Arenas will start his home Grand Prix from the sharp end of the grid after qualifying sixth fastest, avoiding the need to come from further down the order as he did in France and Italy. Arenas was fifteenth fastest in free practice, missing out on direct Q2 qualification by just 0.025 seconds, but he progressed from Q1 to secure a place on the second row. His teammate Raúl Fernández, meanwhile, will have work to do from the fifth row of the grid although he is confident that his race pace and set-up will see him recover positions and fight closer to the front.
6th Albert Arenas 1:48.809 (+0.359):
“Mission accomplished. I was keen to make sure of a good qualifying here so that I don’t have to fight my way through in the race again. Now we can put our good work into practice in the race. We came through Q1 and everything was very close, but it was good to see some things and build my confidence. There was a moment when I was looking at the front row, but I am satisfied with the position after the way we qualified in France and Italy. We have to keep enjoying it because I am very happy to be riding here.”
15th Raúl Fernández 1:49.830 (+1.380):
“It has been a difficult day but other than the starting position our pace is there and we have a good set-up for tomorrow. I am not happy with how qualifying went because there were other riders who ruined my lap and didn’t even bother to apologise, whereas on other occasions I have been penalised for coming slowly out of the pit.”
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