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Moto3 Catalunya: Emotional Binder takes control for pole

Brad Binder continued his strong form to overcome track changes, emotion and traffic for pole position ahead of the Catalunya Moto3 Grand Prix.
Brad Binder was driven by emotion after losing friend Luis Salom, but transferred that into a tremendously strong performance to start from pole tomorrow for the Catalan Moto3 Grand Prix.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider admitted that the passing of his former team-mate had 'hit him hard' and added that the new track layout had been challenging, not least as not all riders were riding the changes the same way.

Despite this the South African championship leader rallied for his second career pole, continuing a successful run which has seen him become the victor at the last three rounds and finish on the podium at every race so far.

His unbeatable 1m 54.054s lap held off nearest rival Niccolo Antonelli, who has been fast for the Ongetta-Rivacold team over both layouts of the track used. The Italian finished just 0.054s behind Binder after his final fast lap.

The last front row spot went to Jorge Navarro, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team initially coping best with the changes and immediately the fastest over the new layout.

Niccolo Bulega was the best of the Sky Racing VR46 team riders, securing fourth as a flurry of bikes took the chequered flag.

He is joined on row two by last years pole man, Gresini rider Enea Bastianini in fifth and Khairul Idham Pawi, who claimed sixth late on for Honda Team Asia.

Francesco Bagnaia was the best of the Mahindra men, the Italian starts seventh for Aspar.

Also on row three for Sunday are Jules Danilo, who continues his improved championship run on the second Ongetta-Rivacold entry in eighth and Aron Canet on the remaining Estrella Galicia entry in ninth. Romano Fenati left it to the final seconds to slip into the top ten for Sky Racing VR46.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, a podium finisher at the last round in Mugello had an improved qualifying in 13th for Gresini.

Moto3 has Albert Arenas running as a wild-card for the MRW Mahindra Aspar Team, his second appearance this year after also racing in Jerez. He qualified 17th. Davide Pizzoli also returns for Procercasa 42 Motorsport and starts 29th.

The Peugeot Mahindra outfit looked to have found a solution for their gear issues but despite a new gear selector coupled with a different chassis for both riders John McPhee needed a slipstream to pull up to 26th and Alexis Masbou who had an electrical fault and missed the entire extended FP3.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: Moto3 , Binder

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