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Moto3 Silverstone: Bagnaia masters the wet for first pole

Francesco Bagnaia looked confident in the wet and stayed upright in Saturday's crash filled qualifying session for pole ahead of the British Moto3 Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia secured a career first pole position by mastering the tricky cold, wet conditions as he lead the way in an increasingly slippery Moto3 qualifying session at Silverstone.

The Mahindra rider gave the team plenty to cheer following their win in the wet at the last round at Brno with the Peugeot badged Mahindra and John McPhee onboard, again running well as the rain increased.

The Italian set a best lap of 2m33.642 on his Aspar machine with ten minutes remaining as the weather worsened and improvements became virtually impossible.

He will be joined on the front row by fellow countryman Enea Bastianini in second for Gresini and Honda after he also found a good lap before it was too late.

Third best time went to Bo Bendsneyder, but the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie rider will face an already announced five place grid penalty for riding slowly, the penalty increased for being a repeat offender.

That means although fourth on the day Ongetta-Rivacold rider Niccolo Antonelli will line up on the front row on race day – but he was one of many fallers today as the rain worsened.

Championship leader Brad Binder finished fifth on the timesheets on the second Red Bull entry, his nearest title rival Jorge Navarro had early pace in the lighter rain and looked good to repeat his 2015 pole form before a fall saw him struggle to recover to 18th at the flag for Estrella Galicia on his final run.

Joan Mir qualified sixth for Leopard Racing and the KTM rider will be the top rookie on the grid after Bendsneyder's demotion.

Jorge Martin worked well with his pole sitting team-mate and also battled for the top slot before a late fall saw him slip to eighth.

He was nearly collected by Sky Racing VR46's top rider Nicolo Bulega, who he let pass him before he slid off into the gravel, the Italian had already done enough for ninth.

The final top ten place went to Bulega's team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta, despite only recently returning to the championship as Romano Fenati's replacement.

Maria Herrera made an impression in the wet with a solo fast lap which initially placed her in the top ten before she too fell and was left to watch as she fell just a couple of places to 13th on the grid.

Brno winner John McPhee fell early from his Peugeot MC Saxoprint, giving his mechanics enough time for repairs, but arriving back on track as the rain began to pour, leaving him in 17th.

There are wild-card rides at Silverstone again this weekend for Mahindra riders Marco Bezzecchi and Stefano Manzi. Bezzecchi fell on his way to 35th but Manzi but only managed one place better in 34th.

Tagged as: Moto3 , Bagnaia

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