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Qatar Moto3: Rins, Honda claim first pole of 2014

Alex Rins took pole position under the floodlights in a tense Saturday qualifying session for the Moto3 Qatar Grand Prix in Losail.
Estrella Galicia Honda rider Alex Rins claimed the first Moto3 pole of 2014 after battling his team-mate Alex Marquez to top the timesheets in Qatar.

The pair pushed their new machinery and were fast from the off with Rins' time of 2m 05.973 enough to secure his tenth career pole.

Moto3 were the first class out to deal with the surface changes after an overnight downpour, with an early crash for Kiefer Racing rider Gabriel Ramos suggesting there was less grip, especially off the racing line.

Marquez was left 0.152s behind last season's title runner-up Rins with Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Jack Miller claiming his first ever front row start in third as the best KTM qualifier.

Team Calvo's Jakub Kornfeil and Isaac Vinales also had a strong showing, taking fourth and fifth respectively.

Danny Kent finished Husqvarna's first qualifying session in Grand Prix racing since 1973 in sixth, using his towing ability to great effect to overcome his weekend issues.

Fellow Briton John McPhee's new found confidence saw him elevate his Racing Team Germany Honda to seventh, easily beating his previous career best qualifying of eleventh.

Romano Fenati's free practice dominance deserted him, having previously set the best ever lap of Losail on a Moto3 machine in the final practice session and topping all three practices, his Sky Racing Team VR46 bike sits down in eighth on the grid.

Niccolo Antonelli of Go&Fun and fellow Italian Francesco Bagnaia from the Sky Racing VR46 team round out the top ten.

With more bikes on the grid than before Mahindra's Miguel Oliveira was their top placed rider in eleventh on the grid.

Red Bull Rookies champion Karel Hanika was the top rookie performer, but down in 19th position after a late incident.

Ambrogio's Brad Binder only got out on track for the final ten minutes, leaving him down in 17th after a late dash.

Also in trouble early on was Alexis Masbou, who was a victim of chatter aboard the Ongetta-Rivacold machine. Joining the crash list late on was Ongetta-AirAsia rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: Moto3 , Rins

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