Moto3: Tony Arbolino converts FP3 form to snatch a dominant pole in Barcelona
Marinelli Snipers Team rider Tony Arbolino has built upon his FP3 time to take an overall circuit lap record to snatch Pole Position after a stunning Qualifying session in Catalunya.
Q1 began seeing the championship top-3 attempting to right their wrong’s of the earlier FP3 session. Arenas, the championship leader burst out of his garage as the light went green at the end of pitlane, with Riccardo Rossi following.
10 minutes in and Arenas was on the pace as expected, seeing Rossi on a quick lap behind him, the two set the pace with Rossi fastest. Carlos Tatay the rookie was sitting third.
In the closing minutes of the first session, the recovering Niccolo Antonelli jumped to the top, but many riders were on personal best laps and the few on overall bests. As the session concluded it was Alonso Lopez who broke the duct and launched his Husqvarna into the 1″48.894 bouncing back after his crash in FP3. John McPhee left it late, and halfway round it looked uncertain he would break into Q2, adding to his Qualifying woes, but the Scot produced an immense final sector to secure third sport and a ticket into Q2. Championship leader, Albert Arenas made the cut, while Ai Ogura was not able to make it through.
The second 15-minute session began once again with the KTM Factory Squad venturing out first, opting for the clear air as they have preferred all weekend. Fernandez produced an incredible first lap to jump to the top of the timesheets with a 1″48.611, making the bar high for the field. Arenas, who had track experience from Q1, was a close second in the early stages a mere tenth of a second away from top spot. Darryn Binder has seemingly improved his qualifying form aboard the CIP bike, laying third early on after following the Factory KTM Team out of the box.
Normal form resumed from the morning session as top-man Arbolino pushed the bar further with a 1″48.566 with 8 minutes remaining. The two Husqvarna’s of Lopez and Fenati decked out in the Max Racing Team colours, put in times good enough for seventh and eight respectively, with the Spaniard getting the edge of the two team-mates, ahead of the final time attack.
With five minutes remaining, as usual, so far the KTM boys burst out of their box, with Darryn Binder and John McPhee not missing the opportunity of a tow from the two orange bikes.
Jaume Masia had technical woes all session, only venturing out to complete a minimum two laps on his Leopard Bike.
The final two-minutes hotted up quickly, seeing red sectors in the first two sectors, from usual suspect Raul Fernandez, Tony Arbolino and Albert Arenas. Tony Arbolino set an amazing last effort going six-tenths clear on the field and snatching any hopes of pole from any other rider with a 1″47.762. Fernandez was unable to better it after suffering a huge high-side at the final corner, barrel rolling into the dust as his challenge for pole slipped away.
Masia made full use of his final effort, snatching a second row, with Albert Arenas and Niccolo Antonelli. Front row men Raul Fernandez and Gabriel Rodrigo were equal on their lap times to a thousandth of a second. McPhee was unable to gather a top 10 from his efforts and will start 12th, but the Scot will take the positives from his session and will be grateful of a 4th row-start compared to his 18th and 19th at the Misano double-header.
Antonelli aboard the SIC Racing Team 58 Honda bounced back from a tough 2020 season so far, progressing through Q1 after a slow-burning and quiet weekend for the Italian he will start on the second row for tomorrow’s race, which will begin at a later 12:00 PM due to the F1 Russian Grand Prix.
Moto3 Q2 Results: (Courtesy of MotoGP.com)
|1||14||Tony ARBOLINO||ITA||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||238.4||1’47.762|
|2||25||Raul FERNANDEZ||SPA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||236.3||1’48.380||0.618 / 0.618|
|3||2||Gabriel RODRIGO||ARG||Kömmerling Gresini Moto3||Honda||238.4||1’48.380||0.618|
|4||75||Albert ARENAS||SPA||Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3||KTM||238.4||1’48.390||0.628 / 0.010|
|5||5||Jaume MASIA||SPA||Leopard Racing||Honda||242.1||1’48.490||0.728 / 0.100|
|6||23||Niccolò ANTONELLI||ITA||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||236.3||1’48.594||0.832 / 0.104|
|7||12||Filip SALAC||CZE||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||234.7||1’48.704||0.942 / 0.110|
|8||27||Kaito TOBA||JPN||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||235.8||1’48.729||0.967 / 0.025|
|9||40||Darryn BINDER||RSA||CIP Green Power||KTM||238.4||1’48.788||1.026 / 0.059|
|10||11||Sergio GARCIA||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||242.1||1’48.824||1.062 / 0.036|
|11||16||Andrea MIGNO||ITA||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM||236.3||1’48.873||1.111 / 0.049|
|12||17||John MCPHEE||GBR||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||237.8||1’48.875||1.113 / 0.002|
|13||7||Dennis FOGGIA||ITA||Leopard Racing||Honda||240.5||1’48.938||1.176 / 0.063|
|14||52||Jeremy ALCOBA||SPA||Kömmerling Gresini Moto3||Honda||238.4||1’48.969||1.207 / 0.031|
|15||55||Romano FENATI||ITA||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||232.7||1’49.085||1.323 / 0.116|
|16||21||Alonso LOPEZ||SPA||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||232.2||1’49.226||1.464 / 0.141|
|17||13||Celestino VIETTI||ITA||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM||237.8||1’49.256||1.494 / 0.030|
|18||71||Ayumu SASAKI||JPN||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||238.9||1’49.378||1.616 / 0.122|
Featured image: MotoGP.com