Izan Guevara decided running solo in a busy session was the way forward in a hectic qualifying full of traffic and his decision paid off as he struggled to stay on board on his way to pole in Jerez for the Moto3 Spanish Grand Prix, round six of the championship.

The Gaviota GasGas Aspar rider will lead a team 1-2 off the grid for their home grand prix after a remarkable lap took him to the top of the timesheets with a best of 1m 45.880s - the only sub 1m 46s lap set.

The Mallorcan rode to the limit, with an almost out of the seat moment saved without skipping a beat on his way to the best lap of the day, though the time was slower than both his and Diogo Moreira’s times from yesterday.

The lap sees Guevara line up on pole for the first time this season - though he earned the position in the opening round in Qatar the #28 was demoted to the back of the grid.

 

 

He is joined on the grid by his team-mate - Championship leader Sergio Garcia, fresh from his Portimao victory in tough conditions. The GasGas rider cut a frustrated figure after he missed out on a final flying lap with riders ahead slowing and swerving. His previous best effort held firm to take second just 0.124s behind Guevara.

Jaume Masia had no such issues as he made his last run as the chequered flag count claiming a late third to complete the front row for the Red Bull Ajo team as the top KTM. He will be hoping to build on the second place he took in the race last weekend.

Dennis Foggia now plays catch up in the title hunt. With just a one point defecit in the standings the Italian will need to turn his fortunes around at Jerez - having never registered a points finish in any of his previous visits.

Pole continued to elude the Italian too - though he did end qualifying as top Honda with Leopard in fourth.

Deniz Oncu claimed pole in Portugal but was demoted at the very end of the session as Masia and Foggia’s late laps came in. The Turkish Tech3 rider showed his consistent pace and looked race ready as he completed all his laps solo without needing to look for a tow.

Xavier Artigas was the best of the Q1 graduates, but needed another late effort to move up the grid spots. The CFMoto racing PruestelGP rider was stalked around his final run by Kaito Toba but was unfazed moving up from twelfth to sixth on his final run.

Ayumu Sasaki was in the group that got caught out and took the chequered flag early but had done enough for seventh for Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max.

Riccardo Rossi claimed eighth for SIC58 Squadra Corse, ahead of top rookie Moreira, who arrived fastest after practice and continued that good form into qualifying in ninth for MT Helmats - MSI.

Carlos Tatay improved to complete the top ten on the second CFMoto entry.

 

Last Brit standing  - Ogden starts eleventh

 

With both John MCPhee and Joshua Whatley declared unfit to race, Scott Ogden is now the only British representative in Moto3 this weekend. Ogden was eventh overnight and top Honda, but a late crash earlier in the day saw him take part in Q1. Working on a different schedule with Xavier Artigas, whom he sat in behind earlier in the session, allowed the VisionTrack rider to set the second best time to progress, even though he missed out on the chance to go one more time, taking the chequered flag instead after setting the first sub 1m 47s lap of the day. 

There was less progress in Q2, though competitive and again with Artigas in the early part of the session The #19 had to settle for eleventh, though he was only just over half a second away from the pole time.

Kaito Toba risked leaving it late to top Q1 on his final lap but had less of an impact once in the second half of qualifying, stalking Artigas as the session wound up the CIP Green Power rider could only manage 18th and was unclassified as a rider with no time to his name in the final standings after exceeding track limits on repeat.

The surprise package of the first fifteen minutes of qualifying was rookie Matteo Bertelle (QJMotor Avintia) , who came through Q1 second after a stellar solo lap with the third best time before moving on to claim 17th.

Tatsuki Suzuki was on pole at the Angel Nieto track last season. This year was a completely different story. A mechanical issue held him back in FP3 so Q1 was needed. The Japanese rider made little progress and it was a case of too little, too late finishing the session sixth for Leopard, equalling a 20th place grid start.


Who is missing at Jerez?


Practice was tricky for the lightweight class with casualties before reaching qualifying or the race as Moto3 had the trickiest of conditions to deal with after a downpour on Thursday left them with a first run on a track riddled with damp spots.

Joshua Whatley had been mixing it with his fellow Honda riders when a slow speed highside saw him thrown over the top of his VisionTrack bike, landing on his face.

Not feeling right, the team held a meeting where they sensibly took the decision out of the sixteen year-old’s hands, following concussion protocol and removing the #70 from the race weekend.

Lorenzo Fellon also started Friday’s action but fell at turn eleven just before Sergio Garcia followed - his crash left him out of action with a dislocated right shoulder. Garcia wasn’t penalised as the yellow flag was not yet out as he followed fast behind.

John McPhee remains absent as he continues his recovery after further issues were discovered with his back fracture. He is again covered by Lorenzo Salvador(16th).

Syarifuddin Azman also returns, in for Alberto Surra. The Malaysian fell in Q1 so placed 25th.

Moto3 return to the track at 8am (UK time) Sunday for warm-up before getting the race action underway at 10am (UK time).