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Moto3: Fifth pole for Vinales at Brno

Maverick Vinales takes his fifth pole of the season, with a late run by Cortese with Khairuddin in pursuit giving them the remaining podium positions for KTM.
By Lisa Lewis

Maverick Vinales has taken pole position aboard his Blusens Avintia FTR Honda in Saturday qualifying for the Czech Republic Moto3 Grand Prix at Brno.

Vinales will be aiming to make his Indianapolis disaster a distant memory after claiming pole position with a time of 2m 08.075, set with more than eight minutes remaining.

There was an early surge in traffic around the Brno circuit as rain looked likely but the traffic this caused sent most of the frontrunners back to the pits, Luis Salom lead the session when spots of rain arrived with 17 minutes to go, with a time that stood until Vinales went top with his pole lap time.

Championship leader Sandro Cortese made a late run on his Red Bull KTM Ajo count claiming second and was stalked around the lap by AirAsia KTM rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin who took his second ever front row position in third.

Niccolo Antonelli went two seconds faster than in practice to claim fourth place on the grid for San Carlo Gresini, while fresh from his maiden win last weekend Luis Salom qualified fifth for RW Racing. Hector Faubel completes the second row for Mapfre Aspar.

Local rider Jakub Kornfeil will make his 50th grand prix start from seventh on the grid aboard the Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta while Alex Rins starts eighth for Estrella Galicia, Cortese's team mate Danny Kent finds himself down in ninth after a flurry of late fast laps from other riders, Jonas Folger starting his second race for Mapfre Aspar from tenth.

British rider John McPhee is a wild card rider this weekend for Racing Steps Foundation and qualifies 19th.

Brad Binder and Guilian Pedone crashed together early on while Romano Fenati and Alex Marquez also crashed during the session, Marquez crashed twice with the second also involving Alberto Moncayo. Rookie Fenati still managed to qualify 13th while Marquez will start 18th.

Danny Webb is replaced by Czech rider Miroslav Popov at Mahindra after sustaining wrist injuries last weekend, while Niklas Ajo also takes no part in the Brno race weekend after being banned from Brno for his conduct after crashing out in Indianapolis.

Ajo is replaced by the experienced Joan Olive, who qualified 24th. Moretti, Techer and Isaac Vinales will also be absent from the race after sustaining injuries during the practice sessions.

Qualifying:

1. Maverick Viñales SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 8.075s
2. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 2m 8.108s
3. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 2m 8.504s
4. Niccolò Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 8.660s
5. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 2m 8.719s
6. Hector Faubel SPA (Kalex KTM) 2m 8.880s
7. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 2m 9.019s
8. Alex Rins SPA (Suter Honda) 2m 9.221s
9. Danny Kent GBR (KTM) 2m 9.307s
10. Jonas Folger GER (Kalex KTM) 2m 9.382s
11. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 9.434s
12. Alessandro Tonucci ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 9.498s
13. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 9.532s
14. Alberto Moncayo SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 9.635s
15. Adrian Martin SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 9.641s




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