Tony Arbolino arrived in qualifying as the fastest man in practice and carried his form into qualifying for the Moto3 Catalunya Grand Prix where he took his first pole of the season.

The Rivacold Snipers Honda rider left it until the closing seconds to post the fastest lap of 1m 47.762s. The Italian improved his already strong line around the track with a slipstream from his teammate Filip Salac at the start of his final effort, finding another spped boost available from the rider ahead of him on the straight as he took the chequered flag.

Raul Fernandez scored pole last weekend and was once again topping the timesheets until the Red Bull KTM rider found himself out wide on the dirty part of the track as he made his final push. Losing grip, the number 25 was sent barrel rolling through the gravel at turn 14. The Spaniard remained second.

Both Fernandez and third place Gabriel Rodrigo posted the same time, with the Kommerling Gresini rider also 0.618s behind Arbolino’s blistering pole pace.

Championship leader Albert Arenas will sit on row two of the grid after finishing fourth for Gaviota Aspar.

All of the top three riders in the championship standings had needed to come through Q1 after finishing outside of the top 14 in FP3.

Ai Ogura, second overall for Honda Team Asia, couldn’t find the pace needed and will line up 22nd after finishing Q1 tenth, taking the pressure of Arenas. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) did make it to Q2 but failed to make an impact, the British rider starts from twelfth.

Jaume Masia will line up next to Arenas in fifth for Leopard after leaving it to the very last moments of the session to set a lap time.

Niccolo Antonelli came through Q1 and kept his pace going to finish his Saturday sixth for SIC58 Squadra Corse.

Filip Salac came close to his best ever qualifying performance as he worked with Arbolino to set the seventh best time.

Eighth on the grid went to Kaito Toba, lapping in the fast group on track helped him to pick up the pace late in the session on the second Red Bull entry.

Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) climbed to ninth in the closing stages with Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia) finding enough speed to complete the top ten.

Brno winner Dennis Foggia (Leopard) could only manage a time good enough for 13th with last week’s race winner Romano Fenati also struggling in qualifying - the Sterligarda Max Racing rider will fill 15th on the grid.

Jeremy Alcoba was the best of the rookie riders in 14th for Kommerling Gresini.

Jose Julian Garcia is in for the injured Tatsuki Suzuki at SIC58 Squadra Corse. He qualified 19th.

In addition to Fernandes’ Q2 fall there were also crashes in Q1 for Barry Baltus, Riccardo Rossi and Carlos Tatay.

 

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