Moto3: Raul Fernandez Takes Aragon Pole

Published on October 17, 2020
By Short Shift News

Red Bull KTM AJO’s Raul Fernandez will start tomorrow’s 19 lap Grand Prix from pole position, his fourth of the season.

The opening qualifying session of the day proved to be nothing but dramatic, with Garbriel Rodrigo setting the early pace.

The Argentine held on to the top spot but was quickly shuffled back to third as Carlos Tatay fired in the quickest time, before Ayumu Sasaki put in the first 1:58s lap of the session.

John McPhee once again found himself down in Q1 and immediately started the session strong, jumping to second before holding the group up as he aimed to hang on to his Q2 position.

Rodrigo was the only rider to improve, pushing the Scottish rider down to fourth as they joined Tatay and Sasaki in the final 15-minute session.

Q2 got underway in a slower manner with only three riders setting the pace early on. However, as the clock ticked a flurry of laps came in, and as the session entered it’s closing stages, 14 of the 18 riders had set a time with Friday’s pacesetter Raul Fernandez on top of the pile.

SKY VR46’s Celestino Vietti cut the gap to Fernandez, but couldn’t get near the Spaniards 1:57.681.

As we entered the final minute of the session, riders all took to the track, looking for their piece of tarmac to have one last assault at getting a strong grid spot. However, in typical Moto3 fashion, single-cylinder 250cc bikes were everywhere with penalties looking imminent. Fernandez ran off the circuit as he aimed to lose the group, however, having used the old World Superbike layout, Fernandez looked to have gained an advantage onto the front straight.

Celestino Vietti was the man to watch, +0.086s off Fernandez’s top time, but the KTM rider positioned himself behind Tatsuki Suzuki for a slipstream, but failed to topple the Red Bull KTM AJO rider from pole.

A late charging Albert Arenas put his Aspar machine on the front row, although half a second down off the pace.

Raul Fernandez takes his fourth pole position of the 2020 season with Vietti and Arenas making it a KTM 1-2-3.

Alonso Lopez was leading Husqvarna with Tatsuki Suzuki being the leading Honda in fifth. Romano Fenati completes the second row.

Carlos Tatay was the big winner, coming from Q1 the Avintia rider qualified seventh ahead of former championship leader Ai Ogura and Rodrigo.

McPhee got bumped down to 10th, as his difficult weekend continues in Aragon. The PETRONAS rider will start ahead of Darryn Binder and Niccolo Antonelli, who had a lap cancelled towards the end of the session.

Andrea Migno will start 13th ahead of Sergio Garcia and Deniz Öncü, with the final positions in Q2 occupied by Jeremy Alcoba, Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia and Red Bull Tech 3 KTM’s Sasaki.

The Moto3 race will get underway an hour later than usual to help avoid the cold temperatures, with lights out now scheduled for 12pm local time.

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