Deniz Oncu looked the man to beat as his pace was easy and unmatched in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, round four of the championship

Deniz Oncu arrived at the qualifying sessions for the Spanish Moto3 race with the best time under his belt and throughout practice had looked to be able to up the pace at will.

Back aboard his Red Bull KTM Ajo, the Turkish rider continued where he left off and showed he could return to the top of the timesheets any time he was challenged, with his best of 1m 45.668s leading the way as the chequered flag waved.

The dominant performance lead to his first time on pole since the San Marino Grand Prix last season.

Austin race winner Ivan Ortola initially struggled. In Q1 as the Angeluss MTA rider was 22nd overnight he just held on to the fourth progression place to head to Q2. From there his time on track proved an asset. Clear of the late yellow flag drama he was able to use his final run to slice off more time and climb to second, the only rider to really rival Oncu’s pace as he improved, finishing 0.115s slower.



Glory and pain for David Munoz.


 The weekend so far has proven to be one of highs and lows for David Munoz.

The BOE Motorsports rider arrived knowing he is due to serve a double long lap penalty come race day following his last lap antics in Austin, which resulted in a broken leg for Stefano Nepa.

That saw him determined to get as high up the grid as possible, so he pushed hard to gain a way into the front row slots. Looking for more he was the second rider to crash in the session at the final corner in the closing minutes, just after Matteo Bertelle(18th).

Munoz hit the paint after the kerb, which saw his wheel step out, he was thrown over his bike, catching his head and hitting his ankle hard as he fell. The Spaniard was immediately lead to an ambulance by the marshals after not being able to get up unaided.

The late drama pushed once time timesheet topper Romano Fenati down to fourth after he moved through Q1 with the top lap for Rivacold Snipers.

Teamwork at Leopard propelled Jaume Masia up to fifth, with Tatsuki Suzuki, who is riding with a fractured foot, struggling to 16th.

Back on row two, Ryusei Yamanaka (Gaviota GasGas Aspar) earned sixth on the grid after recording the last flying lap before the yellow flags cancelled the times of those behind him.

Daniel Holgado leads overall but could only manage the seventh best time for Red Bull KTM Tech3.

He will line up alongside Ayumu Sasaki, who has featured on the front row in the previous rounds, but will be eighth on the grid in Jerez for Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP, alongside Xavier Artigas, who could not find a tow so ended his day in ninth for CFMoto PruestelGP.

Rookie Jose Antonio Rueda learnt a lot shadowing the other Red Bull bikes to complete the top ten.

Scott Ogden was not far behind on the timesheets in eleventh, clear of his VisionTrack Teammate Joshua Whatley who will start 27th.

Joel Kelso did not look back to full fitness as he made his return for PruestelGP but pushed hard, doing his best to ignore his sore ankle for twelfth.

Joint points leader Diogo Moreira had it all to do after finishing FP3 down in 15th and needing a trip through Q1. Easing through that in a safe second, he spent the final moments in the pits. In Q2 he did not make an impact after having his best effort cancelled, so starts 14th for MT Helmets - MSI.

What happened in Q1?

Fenati went through with blistering pace, along with Moreira, Bertelle and Ortola.

Lorenzo Salvador was livid to just miss out, so will be 19th for CIP Green Power. He was not as angry as Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly  Husqvarna Intact GP). 

The Netherlands rider appeared to mistake the start line for the finish line and slowed on his final fast lap, punching the bike in frustration after a lap which until then could have seen him into the second half of qualifying.

Riccardo Rossi has still not found his pre-season form and was desperately looking for a tow to Q2. It did not work out for the SIC58 Squadra Corse rider, who starts from 21st.


Injuries and Replacements


Andrea Migno still fills in for Lorenzo Fellon at CIP Green Power and will start 15th.

Stefano Nepa was heavily off the pace - passed fit after FP1 the Angeluss rider struggled with this injuries sustained in COTA in the incident David Munoz is serving his penalty for. On crutches in the paddock, the #82 will sit in  22nd on the grid.

No longer deputising for Kelso, David Almansa is in Jerez as a wildcard entry instead with the Finetwork Intact GP team. Crashes earlier in the weekend seemed to dent his confidence a little, 15th in Q1 he will be the final rider on the grid.