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26 days ago
By motogp.com

Mir unleashed: Champion takes first pole of the year

A stunning new lap record just denies Jorge Martin on the final push

Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) has taken his first pole position of the season – and his second ever – a week after wrapping up the 2017 crown at Phillip Island. Almost half a second quicker than the previous lap record for Jack Miller that has stood since 2014, Mir made his final lap count and beat a lap from Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) that had seemed a done deal for pole. Martin lines up second, with British Talent Team rider John McPhee completing the front row as the last man within a second of the top.

Moto3™: Mir takes first pole of season in Malaysia

Conditions were dry and skies were blue for qualifying, and it seemed Martin’s early effort to top the timesheets would reign supreme. But after winning the Championship last time out, Mir threw everything at the chance to take his first pole of the year – and broke the lap record.

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Free Video: Mir's pole lap from the #MalaysianGP

Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) heads up the second row as a late improver, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) remounting from a slow spin at Turn 1 to take fifth. Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was sixth quickest, but the Frenchman faces a three-place grid penalty handed out at Phillip Island.

Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) will therefore benefit after going seventh fastest in qualifying, ahead of Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) and Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0). Niccolo Antonelli (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) completed the fastest ten men.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took P11, P12 and P13 respectively, with Canet so far having a more difficult weekend in the dry but finding supremacy in the wet. Ayumu Sasaki was fourteenth quickest and the fastest rookie, just ahead of teammate Adam Norrodin as the two SIC Racing Team bikes round out the fastest fifteen, racing at home.

Now race day awaits, with Mir looking to chase more records, Martin searching for his first win, and McPhee aiming for a bounce back to rostrum form. The lights go out at 12:00 (GMT +8).

For full results, click here!

Check out the session in full with VideoPass and watch everything across the #MalaysianGP live or OnDemand - as well as an incredible range of extra features!

#MalaysianGP: Moto3™ Qualifying Practice

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