Massive MotoGP Qualifying wrap from COTA
Fifth successive pole for Marc Márquez (SPA) in Austin
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken a scorching pole position for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, putting in another signature stunner at COTA as he pulled out an ace on his final lap to take it back from key rival Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales almost touched during qualifying as the Spanish championship leader was badly baulked by his teammate during the session which saw Vinales shaking his fist at his teammate.
Today at the Circuit of the Americas, Marc Marquez extended his record of most Pole Positions in Grand Prix history across all classes, taking the 67th pole in career (his 39th in the MotoGP class, his second in a row this season and his fifth in a row at Austin). Marc worked hard with his team on race pace on used tyres and despite suffering two crashes (without consequences) in FP3, he was able to regain good confidence on his RC213V and keep a fast pace.
Marc Marquez – Pole Position
“This pole makes me feel really good because I honestly didn’t expect it, or actually I thought it would be difficult. In fact, even considering that this circuit suits my riding style, I’ve been struggling a bit this weekend. We knew that our opponents were very strong on new tyres and we worked a lot on race distance, and I felt better on race pace than on qualifying pace. But anyway, this is a track I love, so I told myself, ‘Let’s try!’ and on my last lap I pushed to my maximum, doing my best, and we got another pole here in Austin which is very good. I’m happy with the team; we changed many things on the bike over the weekend and step-by-step we regained some confidence, so this afternoon we just focused on keeping a good pace and it worked well. We did a good job in FP4. I feel quite good on used tyres so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Viñales had waited for most of his competition to head out at the start of the 15-minute qualifying session. Wasting no time, his first flying lap was looking promising, but traffic on the track spoiled his efforts in the final corner, particularly from his teammate who he vented his frustration at. His second attempt, a 2‘03.912s, moved him to second place before he rushed back to the box for a fresh set of tyres. With four minutes remaining, the young Spaniard pulled out all the stops to earn first place. He narrowed the gap to provisional pole to 0.083s with a 2‘03.125s, but knew he had a margin for improvement left. He made good on his promising pace, when he dropped a 2‘02.871s to briefly take over pole, before being pushed back to second after the flag was out.
Maverick Viñales – P2
“Honestly, I thought I had the pole. When I looked at the screen and saw that Marc was behind Valentino I said “ah, maybe he will do it” and in the end he did, so congratulations to him, because it was a nice lap for sure. We pushed at 100% and the bike was working really good. We had to push for one lap, but I‘m also happy about the race pace. We still have tomorrow to improve. We will be working hard this night to find a new set-up to try and stop the bike better, but I think we did a great job and we can be there for sure. Pushing 100% from lap one until the last lap I think will be the best strategy. There were many riders on track. I‘m not angry at what happened today. When you‘re riding a good lap it‘s normal, riders are like this. There are no bad feelings between me and Valentino. This is a normal thing that can happen, I‘m not complaining. It can happen to me as well, maybe one day I‘m in the middle.”
Valentino Rossi had gone straight into action as soon as the green light signalled the start of the 15-minute time attack. The Italian’s first lap initially lifted him to fifth, but he dropped to eighth when all riders had completed their first attempt. The long American track allowed him one more try and he responded soon with a 2’04.758s for seventh, but was back in eighth when he entered pit lane for a quick stop.
The Doctor returned to the pits with around six minutes on the clock and quickly changed tyres in under 60 seconds, before heading back out. Having dropped to tenth place, he was determined to show what he got and cleverly searched for some clear space on track. He perfectly timed his final attack, stepping up his pace on his seventh lap to better his time to a 2’03.673s to take third, but was still almost a full-second behind pole sitter Marquez.
Valentino Rossi – P3
“It was difficult because it looked like Maverick and Marquez had a better pace, but starting from the front row is very important. We improved the bike a lot and I knew that, if I had a clear lap, I would be able to do a good lap time. I did it, so in the end it was OK. Starting from the front row is important, as always, this is good also because it‘s the first real qualifying. Starting like this is not so bad also for the rest of the season. Now we wait and see what happens tomorrow.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“Starting the race from the first row was our goal, and considering how tricky this circuit and today‘s conditions were, we can be very satisfied. This afternoon‘s Q2 session was challenging, but we ended up with both riders in a good place nevertheless. Maverick has been fast all weekend and his amazing lap at the end of qualifying shows his potential and confidence, which is very promising for tomorrow. Valentino did a great job as well. He found a clear space on track, right when it mattered, and secured third place. Today, unfortunately, the drop in temperature partly compromised the work we started yesterday and it might play a vital role in our tyre decision. So far, we‘ve done a good job, but we aim to make another step during the night. We expect tomorrow‘s race to be a tough one, but our confidence is high.”
Dani Pedrosa, who was another victim (among many others today) of the tricky track conditions and had a small, inconsequent tumble at the end of FP4, also lapped among the fastest during the day and set the fourth-fastest lap in qualifying, missing out on the front row by just 0.193 of a second.
Dani Pedrosa – P4
“Fourth isn’t so bad. I could’ve been third but it’s okay, let’s hope tomorrow Valentino will return the favour! The day was demanding because of the weather conditions—quite a bit cooler than yesterday—and of the track in general. There were many crashes, so this morning we stayed very calm. In the afternoon we definitely improved our pace and only in the end we suffered a small crash (in turn 1), luckily with no consequences. In qualifying we gave our maximum but we suffered some chatter on the front and I couldn’t improve much. We’ll try to sort out some more little things before tomorrow and give our best in the race.”
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) once again top rookie in another impressive performance to line up P5. When the session began, Johann Zarco immediately laid down his pace before storming to a personal best that eventually left him just 0.062 behind Dani Pedrosa, and qualified as the top independent rider.
Johann Zarco – P5
“Today went positively for myself and the team and we are very pleased with the qualifying result for tomorrow’s race. In Q2, we used the soft compound of tyre, like almost everyone else, and my feeling was strong on the Yamaha. I set a solid lap time, and I held third at the end of the session, but then Rossi and Pedrosa, who have a lot of experience, were able to improve their times and I ended up in 5th. The result is still fantastic and I will use this opportunity to push for a great finish. I aim to undertake a solid start and then stay with the top guys for as long as possible and learn from them because this is the best way to gain knowledge. Throughout this weekend my ambition has been to work in preparation for the race, but at the same time, I have been able to post a fast lap time whenever it was necessary. So, I am still learning and I will need some more time to get closer to the front, but at the moment everything is going well which is why I can smile.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) progressed from Q1 in Austin for the first time since moving to the Borgo Panigale factory, and the five-time World Champion had an impressive Q2 session – lining up in P6 on the second row, just out-qualifying teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Jorge Lorenzo – P6
“Finally today we were able to obtain a good result, after a few difficult weeks. I am the best Ducati on the grid, but the most important thing is that I had a good feeling on my bike, and I managed to confirm what I had wanted to demonstrate in Argentina. Tomorrow it’ll be very important to get off to a good start, try and take as few risks as possible in the early laps, and above all finish the race because I want to put behind me the disappointment of the last GP. It’s going to be a very tough race physically, but I feel strong and I am very happy with the work that me and my team are doing.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P7
“Once again today we found strange conditions, but in the end I’m happy with the way the afternoon went. Despite a couple of little problems, we did however manage to do a run at the same time as the race and we were able to improve. I don’t think it will be possible to fight for the win tomorrow, but for sure we can go for a good result. Unfortunately in qualifying on my second run I made a few mistakes and was not able to set the time that I could have done. Pity about seventh place on the grid, but in my opinion tomorrow we can do a good race.”
Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) looks to keep his points lead in the fight for Rookie of the Year from P8, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) just behind in ninth after a crash.
Jonas Folger – P8
“I am happy with my qualifying result today and I am looking forward to the fight tomorrow in Austin, Texas. We had a bit of a tricky beginning to the day and I had a few issues in the morning. Yet, the team and I worked hard and we found the correct direction to head toward for the qualifying, and here, I got my confidence back. In the end, we scored a solid 8th place on the starting grid which is positive and I know I can do a good job from there. In Q2, Perhaps we could have found a few more tenths, but I made a small mistake at the end. Nevertheless, I am still pleased and tomorrow, if I ride smart and undertake a strong start plus ride a consistent pace, then I know that we can take a lot of points home.”
Crutchlow performed well in the morning’s free practice sessions and went through to Q2 with the fifth fastest time in the field. However, the Briton could not capitalise and saw his hopes of a spot amongst the frontrunners quashed when he came off his RC213V when on a quick lap. That left him down in ninth spot on the grid, although the 31-year-old remains hopeful he can still challenge during Sunday’s main event.
Cal Crutchlow – P9
“I’m disappointed to be ninth on the grid for tomorrow when I thought the front row was possible, especially the lap I was on. But unfortunately we’ve been having a lot of vibration in the first-gear corners all weekend and I made a mistake and went down which was disappointing, because it would have been a good lap from the time I was setting. But we have to start from scratch tomorrow and try to make a good job. My team has been working very hard and I feel confident for the race, definitely. We either have to go hard from the start and be aggressive or be patient and play the long race – at the moment we don’t really know from the tyre selection what we’ll do, but I’m hopeful of getting into a good position.”
Compatriot Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) completes the top ten.
Scott Redding – P10
“I had so many problems with the front in Q2. I tried to push hard but every time I was on the middle of the corner I felt the front closing. I tried to did the best I could in the situation we had even though I felt I had more feeling this morning. But I’m still confident for the race. I’m getting faster and faster in each session and the race pace is good”.
There were also crashes for Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in the session, with the two men set to line up in P11 and P12 respectively. Alex Rins was out of the game after FP3 because of a fracture to his left wrist. While Rins was undergoing a stabilizing intervention at the University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, Iannone went through the Q2 finishing in 11th place.
Andrea Iannone – P11
“Honestly we weren’t expecting to struggle so much. I’m pretty worried. It’s a shame we cannot perform as good as we’d like and we deserve, but for me it’s also a part of the growing process we are in. Therefore, we will already be trying to improve tomorrow. Anyway we hope to get some improvements pretty soon and we will see if we are heading in the right direction. The situation got worse today because of the track conditions. Yesterday we were not so far off, and I was confident, but with these new conditions I am struggling more.¨
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“Today we had a really bad start with the crash of Alex who is reported to have a pretty serious injury to his left wrist. We are now monitoring his situation and his recovery. And the day didn’t improve in qualifying, since with Andrea we worked very hard, but we couldn’t yet put him in the conditions that would best push him forward. The track conditions changed radically since yesterday. The grip was much poorer, and also we saw many other riders crashing. Indeed, Andrea is one of the riders who is struggling to adapt to the new conditions, without being able to show the proper confident racing style. Throughout the day we tried several improvements, but so far we couldn’t find the proper pace. We have to further investigate which options we have for tomorrow to improve and deliver him a machine that can give him a better feel for the race.”
Miller was forced to switch to his spare Honda RC213V after that early crash cost him a chance of a much faster time. The Australian rider had progressed into the Q2 session with an impressive lap of 2’04.438 that put him top of the timesheets in Q1 ahead of three time world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Finally Miller posted a time of 2’05.970 in Q2 on his back-up machine with a strong comeback after his spill at turn two.
Jack Miller – P12
“I always knew that Q2 was going to be difficult because we didn’t have enough new tyres left and in the cooler conditions I got caught out. I was wide at turn one, completely off line, and then went to cruise through turn two and completely lost the front. A slow and strange crash. But I am happy with my speed for the race and I’ve started from much worse than 12th position and got into the top ten. I’m not fussed if it’s warmer like Friday or cool for the race, I have a good feeling for this track.”
Michael Bartholemy -Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Team Principal
“It was good for Jack to be in Q2 and we know this is what he is capable of. The crash was a pity and for sure Jack lacks some experience in doing the Q2 session but he made a strong comeback on the spare bike when we did not have another new front tyre to use. Jack’s race pace shows that he can get a good result here. Tito dropped his pace slightly in qualifying but overall it has been a strong weekend for him and I believe tomorrow we can have both riders in the points like in the opening two races.”
From Q1 laptimes, the top fifteen is completed by Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Reale Avintia Racing duo Loris Baz and Hector Barbera.
Danilo Petrucci – P13
“It was not one of my best days. I never found the right confidence to go faster. I miss the feeling on the front and this does not allow me to push as I would like. Now we have to relax, look at the data, see where we lose and where we can improve. Luckily the race is tomorrow and we will try to make the most of it”.
Loris Baz – P14
“It was a difficult day and more so in the morning. In FP4 we found something positive that helped us to improve and during qualifying the feeling was really good. I tried to hook up to somebody else to make a fast lap, but there was nobody around. Nevertheless, I had a good pace riding by myself and the lap was not so bad. In my second attack I pushed to the maximum and in the last corner maybe too much… I realized when I was braking that it was going to be difficult to make the turn without going wide, but I really wanted to get in Q2… After all I was not able to do it, but I managed to safe the crash, and at least my sponsors will be shown all around the world.”
Hector Barbera – P15
“I’m happy, but not over the moon. We are in a phase of adaption, which sounds strange from a rider that is in his 16th season in the World Championship. But I have to start from zero and change my riding style. With my style this bike does not work, and we know that it’s me who has to change. We have improved a lot compared to the last race, not as much as I would like to, but I think that we are going the right direction, even if we know that it is not going to be easy, because I have to change all my riding habits. The main problem is that when you want to go fast, you don’t actively think about your riding. You ride by instinct and in this moment, my old style comes back, which is the problem. I have to look at the race as another practice session and my target tomorrow will be to improve my riding style, without thinking about the result.”
Rabat’s qualifying time of 2’05.920 matched his pace and steady improvement during free practice. The Spaniard believes it is a strong platform to continue his points scoring streak from the Qatar and Argentina races despite not maximizing his qualifying pace.
Tito Rabat – P16
“It was much cooler today and we did a very good job in the morning FP3 session and made a lot of progress. But I lost time in the afternoon qualifying, it was my mistake waiting for other riders and I know I need to take more confidence to go alone but it is not easy in this track with such a long lap. But I’m happy with my race set-up and looking to again finish in the points.”
Karel Abraham took 17th position on the grid after setting a best time of 2:05.931. He was riding with problems with his ankle, meniscus and neck, and was satisfied with his result considering his condition. Teammate Bautista’s time of 2:06.295 put him nineteenth on the grid.
Karel Abraham – P17
“In the morning I didn’t know how the day would go; I didn’t not know if my foot would be OK or not. Unfortunately, I have problems with my meniscus and my neck as well, and it hurts when I’m on the bike. In any case, I can ride. I took painkillers for qualifying. I’m happy with seventeenth position, which in these conditions is very good. Tomorrow will be a tough race; this morning many riders crashed. Besides that, I don’t feel 100 percent fit. I want to be able to have a good race. I still get angry thinking about the crash yesterday, but sometimes these things happen and we have to accept it.”
Álvaro Bautista – P19
“Yesterday I explained that the feeling I had was better than the result. Today, and I don’t know if it was because of the track conditions or something else, but the morning didn’t go well. We crashed without really knowing the reason for it. On the first lap, I noticed that I had lower grip than yesterday. I tried to heat the tyres up, and at Turn 2 I lost the front. If the conditions were right, then you’d go in there at more or less the same speed, but the grip was much lower. In the afternoon, I didn’t feel comfortable. We suffered a bit, and we have been looking at the data. In the warmup tomorrow we will look for something that will help me achieve more tyre contact with the track. I find it hard to warm the tyres up and they feel cold, but I can’t heat them up because I can’t push -because I can’t get them in contact with the track enough. It’s a vicious circle. We hope the temperature will help us tomorrow too. It has been one of my most difficult days on the Ducati.”
Bradley Smith (GBR) will start from the sixth row of the grid for Sunday’s race, and factoryRed Bull KTM MotoGP teammate Pol Espargaro (ESP) will start from 21st on the grid after crashing out in turn two in the last minutes of the qualifying session.
Bradley Smith – P18
“The pace in the front is fast and here we always knew it was going to be difficult for us. We’ve done a lot of work this weekend but finally at the right moment I think we were where we needed to be. I didn’t do the perfect lap, but it was my best of the weekend so we have to be happy with that. Tomorrow we’ll have to see what the weather is like and that will help us make the right decision about tire choice. Obviously, it’s more critical with the rear tire because at the moment it is quite cool conditions. I feel good that we can at least push on tomorrow and see what we can do. It’s going to be a long race and we know that tire degradation here is always the most difficult part. But I know the KTM is quite easy on tires, so fingers crossed Sunday will bring us even better performance, just like in the other two rounds. It is going to be 21 hard laps.”
Pol Espargaro – P21
“This morning was not bad. We found a good setting for the bike and a good balance and it looked like we had everything ready for the qualifying. Actually, I did the first lap quite fast then some riders spoiled my lap. I thought we were too slow in that lap so I pushed, and I crashed. I had a good feeling on the bike and I thought I would be able to improve the lap times much more. In the end what counts for tomorrow is that we have to start from the back. It will be more fun because we will have to fight a little bit more. Anyway, I’m happy because we have a good balance on the bike and we will fight tomorrow.”
Sebastian Risse – KTM Technical Director MotoGP
“For sure this track is special and it has many corners that need different things from the bike. So you need to compromise. To find this compromise you need experience, and you need kilometers on this track, so we are learning. You can see we are improving but we are not improving enough to be as close to the top in terms of lap times as at the other race weekends. But okay, I think we are going forward, we need to continue to move forward, and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
It will also be an uphill race for Aleix Espargaró and his RS-GP tomorrow on the Circuit of the Americas. A series of unfortunate circumstances kept the Spanish rider from participating in the Q1 session where, after his promising performance in the first two races of the season, he was looking forward to tackling with the ambition of going through to Q2. Instead, a technical problem stopped him right in the final stages of the last free practice session (FP4), where he finished in twelfth place with a minimum gap behind the top ranking spots. The diagnostics system switched off the engine and the team is currently investigating the cause of the fault, probably a simple problem, but enough to stop number 41’s RS-GP just a few minutes before of the decisive session. On his second bike, Aleix crashed during his first good lap, a fall without consequences for the rider, but one that denied him taking even one lap, relegating him to the last spot on the starting grid for tomorrow.
Aleix Espargaró – P22
“Today was perhaps the most difficult day of my MotoGP career: two crashes in FP3, a technical problem, and then another fall in qualifying. We have work to do. Our bike does not seem to handle the bumps well and this creates problems in all of the riding phases. Despite what happened today, I am confident that things will be different in the race tomorrow and, even starting from behind, my goal is to fight for a top 10 finish.”
Sam Lowes finished with a time of 2’07.232 that earned him the twentieth spot and the seventh row on the starting grid.
Sam Lowes – P20
“Let’s just say that one of the nice things about today is that tomorrow could go surprisingly well! The conditions were anything but easy. This morning the temperature was low and in the afternoon it did not improve too much. The different tyre options have a precise temperature range within which they perform the best, so understanding that and choosing the right one at the right time is essential. Given the time lost in the two sessions, I used the qualifiers as a practice session, staying on the track the whole time without coming in to change tyres. In any case, I am pleased with my pace. The RS-GP is probably the bike that performs the best on used tyres and that will help us tomorrow.”
MotoGP Qualifying Results
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 2’02.741
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2’02.871
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2’03.673
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 2’03.866
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2’03.928
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 2’04.151
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 2’04.431
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2’04.623
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 2’04.661
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 2’04.673
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 2’05.741
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2’05.970
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 2’05.221 (Q1)
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2’05.231 (Q1)
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2’05.541 (Q1)
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2’05.920 (Q1)
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 2’05.931 (Q1)
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2’06.258 (Q1)
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 2’06.295 (Q1)
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2’07.232 (Q1)
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2’07.601 (Q1)
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2’05.468 (FP2)
Moto2 – Franco Morbidelli (ITA) earns his career’s second pole position
Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) took an impressive pole position at the Circuit of the Americas, as he looks to win his third race in a row and grow his points lead at the front. Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) took a mighty P2 behind the Italian, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the front row – seeming a big threat on race pace despite a low drama lowside.
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) heads up Row 2 from fellow Championship hopeful Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten), with second Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter impressing for Kiefer Racing to line up in P6.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) starts from seventh, ahead of Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) and Dynavolt Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese.
KTM Moto2 test rider Ricky Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a stunning session as he rides in place of injured Brad Binder, completing the top ten.
Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing), top rookie Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) and second rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) locked out eleventh to fifteenth.
Franco Morbidelli – P1
“I’m happy to be in pole position at this track because I had a lot of difficulties to be fast here last year. We have proven so far this year that our bike is immediately competitive on all tracks and in all conditions and this weekend it has been the same, so I must say a big thanks to my team. I’m happy with my pace for the race and to get pole position is a nice bonus. I just went out there determined to squeeze every bit of performance out of the bike and it worked. Tomorrow’s race will be another tough challenge because Álex has been very strong in every session. I feel fully prepared to fight for the win and hopefully we can put on a good show for the American fans, who are always very enthusiastic and give us great support.”
Moto2 Qualifying Results
- Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) 2’09.379
- Mattia Pasini (ITA – Kalex) + 0.167
- Álex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) + 0.242
Moto3 – Aron Canet (SPA) taking the pole position with a lap record
Friday at COTA was impressive for sophomore Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) as he seemed in a league of his own – and the Spaniard stunned the field again on Saturday as he smashed the lap record in qualifying by seven tenths, taking his second career pole by almost a second.
Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) left it late but made it count, shooting up into second in the last few minutes of the session and ready to start the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas from the middle of the front row – with last year’s winner at COTA Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) another big hitter in P3.
Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega heads the second row as he aims to score some big points in the US of A after leaving Argentina empty handed, with Del Conca Gresini Moto3 duo Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio in fifth and sixth.
Seventh is Canet’s teammate Enea Bastianini, who has shown much improved pace in Texas so far, with the 2016 Championship just ahead of countryman Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and British Talent Team rider John McPhee.
Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completes the top ten despite a crash, with Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) just missing out in eleventh. The top rookie on the grid is Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in twelfth after a stunning session for the Italian, with RBA BOE Racing Team duo Juanfran Guevara and Gabriel Rodrigo in tight formation behind. Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) locks out the top fifteen.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
- Aron Canet (SPA – Honda) 2’14.644
- Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) + 0.987
- Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) + 0.997