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Moto3: Vinales takes Mugello pole

Maverick Vinales snatches pole from Sandro Cortese as the German watches on from the pits, Alex Rins slipstreams his way onto the front row.
By Lisa Lewis

Maverick Vinales took pole position aboard his Blusens Avintia (FTR Honda) for round nine of the Moto3 championship at Mugello on Saturday, his fourth of the season.

Vinales was keen to make amends for the disaster, by his standards, where he qualified down in 24th and didn't score any points at the Sachsenring last weekend and came into the qualifying session fastest overall from combined practice.

The Spaniards final lap of 1:57.980, set after the flag, was achieved with some strong slipstreaming, and beat Cortese into second by almost half a second.

The German can take heart from showing a strong race pace, he was consistently faster on his Red Bull KTM Ajo over the final few minutes, every time he posted a lap he did so mainly alone on the track with no tow.

Alex Rins spent a lot of his track time glued to his fellow Spaniard Vinales, as did many of the riders, with up to 20 bikes behind him in a train at one point, securing the final front row place on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Suter Honda).

Early pace setter Efren Vazquez finished the session fourth for JHK Laglisse (FTR Honda), while British rider Danny Kent finished the session fifth on the Red Bull KTM Ajo. Kent was slower than the time he set in practice as his last few attempts at a fast lap were ruined by traffic.

Niccolo Antonelli was the top qualifying Italian in sixth for San Carlo Gresini (FTR Honda), completing the second row, his fellow Italian rookie Romano Fenati not far behind in Eighth for Team Italia FMI (FTR Honda)

Sandwiched between the home riders, Zulfahmi Khairuddin made the best of a trying session after finding it hard to tag a slipstream from anyone, working hard by himself he finished the session seventh aboard the AirAsia-Sic-Ajo (KTM).

Luis Salom qualified ninth for RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM), while Hector Faubel completes the top ten for the Mapfre Aspar Kalex KTM Team. Louis Rossi was only a little behind and qualified eleventh for Racing Team Germany (FTR Honda).

Danny Webb struggled in a tough session and qualified down in 32nd on the Mahindra.

Ivan Moreno crashed in the closing minutes of the session and was stretchered off, but was moving.

Moto3 opens the race day action on Sunday at the Mugello circuit.

Qualifying:

1. Maverick Viñales SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 57.980s
2. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 1m 58.401s
3. Alex Rins SPA (Suter Honda) 1m 58.821s
4. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 58.840s
5. Danny Kent GBR (KTM) 1m 59.089s
6. Niccolò Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.361s
7. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 1m 59.391s
8. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.465s
9. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 59.473s
10. Hector Faubel SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 59.573s
11. Louis Rossi FRA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.680s
12. Alberto Moncayo SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 59.698s
13. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 1m 59.777s
14. Alan Techer FRA (TSR Honda) 1m 59.878s
15. Kevin Calia ITA (Honda) 1m 59.955s




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