Moto3: McPhee Masters Tricky Conditions to Take Valencia Pole
John McPhee has claimed pole position in treacherous conditions at Valencia, taking pole position by +0.411s, with Celestino Vietti and Albert Arenas alongside the Scotsman on the front row.
The first qualifying session of the day got underway in tricky conditions as the rain started to fall in the opening few minutes of Moto3’s first 15-minute session.
With the riders battling for track position, with dry tyres on, carnage was sure to unfold as championship contenders Albert Arenas and Ai Ogura were looking to take two of the four Q2 positions.
As the session went on, the rain got heavier, seeing a number of crashes. The Prustel team-mates both slid out at the final corner together before being followed by Jeremy Alcoba and shortly after by his Gresini team-mate Gabriel Rodrigo, who had two crashes in the space of four corners.
The Japanese rider lead the charge into Q2 with Rodrigo, Arenas and Foggia joining him in Q2.
Q2 got underway in treacherous conditions, with rain bouncing off the Valencian tarmac. However, that didn’t stop John McPhee who braved the downpour to take pole over Raul Fernandez by a few hundredths. However, two of Fernandez’ best laps were cancelled seeing the young Spanish rider slip to eighth. That promoted Ogura to the front row, but another yellow flag infringement saw him drop to 11th, promoting Arenas to the front row.
Despite two Q2 crashes, Alonso Lopez will start fourth ahead of Ricardo Rossi, who put his best qualifying performance to date at a wet Valencia circuit. Last year’s winner Sergio Garcia, who also had a big off, will start 6th.
Darryn Binder will start the 23-lap race from 7th ahead of the Red Bull KTM AJO machines of Fernandez and Kaito Toba.
Andrea Migno completes the top ten ahead of Ai Ogura, who has work to do in tomorrow’s Grand Prix, while fellow Q1 runner Rodrigo will start 12th.
Carlos Tatay was another rider to run into trouble, crashing out of the session and has to settle with a 13th place start ahead of Foggia and Romano Fenati.
The final row in Q2 is filled by Filip Salac and team-mate Tony Arbolino while Yuki Kunii completed the top 18.
Tatsuki Suzuki failed to make it into Q2 and will start 19th ahead of Jason Dupasquier and Max Kofler, while the winner of the last two races, Jaume Masia, will start from 28th place.
A risk from Antonelli failed to pay off. The newly announced Avintia VR46 rider opted for the wet tyres, but was too late after his fellow riders completed their laps on the dry tyres, meaning he starts from last.
The 23-lapper gets underway on Sunday at 11am.
Featured images: MotoGP.com