Moto3: Darryn Binder Blitzes Lap Record to Claim Qatar Pole
PETRONAS’ Darryn Binder has claimed the first Moto3 pole of the season, piping Izan Guevara and team-mate, John McPhee.
The Moto3 bikes roared into life for their opening qualifying session of the season, and it was Q1 rider Darryn Binder who left it late to take pole position, beating rookie Izan Guevara who claims his and Gas Gas’ first front row of the year. John McPhee made it a double PETRONAS front row, putting his number 17 Honda NSR250 in third.
Binder timed his lap to perfection, storming through Q1 to set a 2:04.075 – a new lap record on his way to his second pole position of his career. Reigning CEV champion Guevara will line up alongside the South African for his Moto3 debut, as he also progressed through qualifying one. The 16-year-old lines up ahead of veteran McPhee.
In typical Moto3 fashion, it was quite a wait until we saw Moto3 bikes hit the track, with five minutes on the clock until the riders ventured out to the 3.3-mile circuit. However, Kaito Toba and Max Kofler didn’t waste no time, setting the early pace before slipping down the order.
As all the riders chased the lap time, there was a coming together between Dennis Foggia and John McPhee towards the end of the first run. The second runs got underway, but for Gabriel Rodrigo, he timed it wrong and took the flag before he could deliver his final lap. The time screens were lit up from top to bottom, but it was Darryn Binder to further move the goal posts as Izan Guevara slotted into second, McPhee third.
Jeremy Alcoba put in a solid 15-minute qualifying session, finishing fourth place with Jaume Masia and Toba completing the second row. Rodrigo hung onto a third row start in seventh with Sergio Garcia, Ricardo Rossi and Niccolo Antonelli rounding out the top ten.
Red Bull KTM AJO rookie Pedro Acosta set the 11th fastest time ahead of Jason Dupasquier, who couldn’t hang on to his strong Friday position. Foggia had another tough start to the season, qualifying in 13th, ahead of Carlos Tatay and Ayumu Sasaki. Kofler will head the sixth row ahead of Andrea Migno and Romano Fenati, who missed out on setting a time.
It’s advantage Binder on Saturday night, but the points don’t get handed out until the flag falls at the end of tomorrows 18-lap Grand Prix which takes place in the Qatari sunset.
The Moto3 World Championship season opener gets underway at 17:00 local time.
1. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) 2:04.075
2. Izan Guevara (GASGAS Gaviota Aspar) + 0.203
3. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.203
4. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Gresini Racing Moto3) + 0.362
5. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.423
6. Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) + 0.598
7. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Gresini Racing Moto3) + 0.705
8. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS Gaviota Aspar) +0.795
9. Ricardo Rossi (BOE Owlride) + 0.814
10. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) + 0.884
Featured image: MotoGP.com