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Luis Salom on pole position in Qatar

Luis Salom on pole position in Qatar

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom will head an all-Spanish front row for the opening Moto3™ race of 2013. The Mallorcan topped Saturday’s qualifying session at Losail from Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Álex Rins.

Moto3 kicked off the track action under lights at 6pm. With no less than 32 bikes in the field and plenty of sand remaining off the racing line at the desert circuit, mistakes would be punished and finding a clear gap on-track a critical exercise.

The times would continue to tumble and fluctuate across the course of the 40 minutes, although the fight for pole quickly transpired to be between the eventual front row men plus Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger and Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira.

Returning to the top with two minutes to go, Salom navigated his way around slower runners to go even quicker as the chequered flag flew, sealing his first ever pole with a record qualifying time of 2’07.229. This edges out Viñales by a tenth of a second, as he fought through pain following his testing accident at Jerez; in fact, stitches had been removed from Viñales’ hand in Qatar only two days ago.

Rins had been fastest for much of the session and also sealed his front row spot with a last-gasp effort, moving ahead of Folger as Oliveira returned to the second row and fifth place (having previously been demoted to seventh). Sixth on the grid will be CIP Moto3’s Alan Techer, with the Frenchman having beaten Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil who heads the third row. Efrén Vázquez and Álex Márquez complete Row 3 for Mahindra and Estrella Galicia respectively, with Australia’s Arthur Sissis rounding out the top ten for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Further down the field female rider Ana Carrasco impressed by sealing 23rd spot for Team Calvo, despite having missed out on track time for much of the weekend so far.

Due to the unique timing schedule for the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar, the Moto3™ Warm-Up session takes place later tonight at 9:40pm local time (GMT +3). Sunday’s 18-lap race commences at 7pm local time.


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