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Moto3: Kent takes debut pole at Motegi

Danny Kent takes pole position for the Japanese Moto3 Grand Prix at Motegi.
By Lisa Lewis

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Danny Kent has taken pole position in the Moto3 qualifying session at Motegi,setting an unbeatable time of 1m58.371 to secure the first pole of his Grand Prix career.

The 18 year old's final flying lap saw him 0.203 seconds ahead of Blusens Avintia's Maverick Vinales, who had used his FTR Honda to stamp his authority on the session from the start and kept the lead until Kent showed a glimpse of what was to come when he initially went fastest with five minutes remaining.

Sandro Cortese's Red Bull KTM also challenged and briefly hit the front, but the championship leader had to settle for the final front row spot after finishing third fastest.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin was bolstered by the many Malaysian fans who had travelled to support him and heads up the second row for Sundays race after qualifying fourth on the AirAsia Ajo and making it three KTM machines in the top four.

Alessandro Tonucci starts fifth after a career best qualifying for Team Italia and Aragon race winner Luis Salom starts sixth for RW Racing.

Jonas Folger's Mapfre Aspar Kalex KTM Bike had problems which saw the Aragon pole-sitter miss more than half the session, he recovered to qualify seventh while Louis Rossi starts eighth for Racing Team Germany.

Efren Vazquez qualified ninth for JHK Laglisse with Team Italia FMI rider Romano Fenati tenth after he spent the early part of the session waiting to have his clutch changed.

Miguel Oliveira finished the session eleventh for Estrella Galicia, San Carlo Gresini's Niccolo Antonelli was next fastest in twelfth. Oliveira's team mate Alex Rins starts from 13th.

John McPhee qualified 26th for Caretta on his KRP Honda while fellow Brit Danny Webb qualified 32nd for the Mahindra team.

There are wild card rides this weekend for Japanese riders Hyuga Wantanabe and Yudai Kamei, both on Hondas. They will start from 21st and 27th respectively.


1. Danny Kent GBR (KTM) 1m 58.371s
2. Maverick Viñales SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 58.574s
3. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 1m 58.669s
4. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 1m 58.951s
5. Alessandro Tonucci ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.072s
6. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 59.097s
7. Jonas Folger GER (Kalex KTM) 1m 59.125s
8. Louis Rossi FRA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.213s
9. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.287s
10. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.359s
11. Miguel Oliveira POR (Suter Honda) 1m 59.494s
12. Niccolò Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.652s
13. Alex Rins SPA (Suter Honda) 1m 59.653s
14. Arthur Sissis AUS (KTM) 1m 59.686s
15. Alberto Moncayo SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.904s
16. Adrian Martin SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 59.945s
17. Alex Marquez SPA (Suter Honda) 1m 59.949s
18. Brad Binder RSA (Kalex KTM) 1m 59.974s
19. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 1m 59.998s
20. Alan Techer FRA (TSR Honda) 2m 0.021s
21. Hyuga Watanabe JPN (Honda) 2m 0.044s
22. Jack Miller AUS (Honda) 2m 0.177s
23. Niklas Ajo FIN (KTM) 2m 0.386s
24. Toni Finsterbusch GER (Honda) 2m 0.460s
25. Isaac Viñales SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 0.526s
26. John Mcphee GBR (KRP Honda) 2m 0.755s
27. Yuudai Kamei JPN (Honda) 2m 0.940s
28. Giulian Pedone SWI (Suter Honda) 2m 0.987s
29. Kenta Fujii JPN (TSR Honda) 2m 1.233s
30. Josep Rodriguez SPA (FGR Honda) 2m 1.256s
31. Luca Amato GER (Kalex KTM) 2m 1.500s
32. Danny Webb GBR (Mahindra) 2m 2.362s
33. Armando Pontone ITA (Ioda) 2m 3.819s
34. Riccardo Moretti ITA (Mahindra) 2m 5.450s

Related Pictures

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Kent, Moto3, Japanese MotoGP 2012
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Danny Aldridge, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Pole position Tissot award, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Martin, pole position Tissot award, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli, pole position Tissot award, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Danny Kent, Moto2, Qatar MotoGP 2017
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Kent, Moto2, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Kent, Qatar Moto2 2017
Kent, Qatar Moto2 2017
Kent, Qatar Moto2 2017
Kent, Qatar Moto2 test 17-19th March 2017

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M1M - Unregistered

October 13, 2012 6:34 AM

Kent obviously has the raw speed but his race performances haven't reflected his potential this year. His rapid increase in height size means that he would have problems staying another year in Moto3, so it makes sense to move up to Moto2 where he will continue to get the experience he needs to improve his race craft.

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