Gabriel Rodrigo will start on pole for the sixth time in his career after an assured performance in qualifying for the Moto3 Catalan Grand Prix, round seven of the championship.

The Argentine was born and grew up in Barcelona, so has taken pole at what he considers to be his home race.

Amongst the top riders in every session the Indonesian Racing Gresini rider set most of his best laps, including his early banker, solo.

Confident, he was shown talking to his team-mate Jeremy Alcoba in the pits, who followed the number two over the line for a well managed and organised team 1-2.

Alcoba was 0.317s slower than the pole lap of 1m 47.597s - a new record after the alterations to the track at turn ten.

The Honda duo will be joined on the front row by the experienced Niccolo Antonelli, who used his final run after coming up from qualifying one to move into the top three for Avintia Esponsorama on the KTM.


Stefano Nepa, who topped a session for the first time when he lead the way in FP3 earlier in the day, also enjoyed a strong final flying lap to move into fourth, a best ever starting position for the BOE Owlride man.

Izan Guevara was the top rookie performer in fifth for Solunion GasGas Aspar after following the Gresini bikes to the chequered flag.

John McPhee put in a strong early lap in Q1 before improving to top that session and progress. The Briton started Q2 the same way, and although he never bettered his lap after staying out on track when most of the field entered the pits, his early effort ensured he was the best of the Petronas Sprinta riders in sixth, just ahead of his colleague Darryn Binder in seventh.

Last weekends polesitter, Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC 58 Squadra Corse) will line up in eighth in Spain.

Jaume Masia made the move up from Q1 to claim a ninth place start as the best of the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders in qualifying.

Riccardo Rossi, a podium finisher in France, continued to build on his improved start to the season by completing the top ten after also moving through Q1 for Aspar and GasGas.

Romano Fenati was fifth and running solo when an error on his final run at turn one left him waiting to see how many riders would move ahead of him. The Sterilgarda Max Racing rider will fill eleventh.

Mugello winner Dennis Foggia was off the pace for Leopard in 15th.

Ayumu Sasaki, who was caught up in the crash in qualifying last weekend which lead to Jason Dupasquier sadly passing away, was 14th for Red Bull KTM Tech 3 as he courageously returned to track.

Q1 was filled with riders who are no stranger to the automatic Q2 slots, with a frantic end to the session many big names missed out on a second qualifying run.

Aspar’s Sergio Garcia, a winner as recently as the French grand prix, was demoted by the final lap of Riccardo Rossi, just missed out finishing the session fifth for 19th on the grid.

A late crash left Andrea Migno unable to improve. Coming off the back of a disappointing home race where he was taken out in the early stages, the Rivacold Snipers rider will start from 21st.

Just behind him on the grid will be CarXpert Pruestel GP rider Ryusei Yamanaka, back on track following the passing of his team-mate Jason Dupasquier in Mugello. The brave Japanese rider starts 22nd.

Championship leader Pedro Acosta is an even more distant 25th after finishing Q1 in eleventh. The rookie was lead around by fellow Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Masia but could not find an advantage.

Daniel Holgado replaces the injured Max Kofler, who fractured his vertabrae in his fall in Italy. He will make his world championship debut from 23rd.

Elia Bartolini also returns to the paddock as a replacement rider. In for Carlos Tatay who broke his foot last time out, he starts from the back of the grid.