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Oliveira takes 2nd career pole in Argentina

 Oliveira takes 2nd career pole in Argentina

Sunday’s Moto3™ race at the GP Red Bull de la República Argentina will see Miguel Oliveira start from pole position.

Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira will start from pole for the second time in his Moto3™ career, and for the first time on a KTM. His previous pole came at the 2013 Dutch TT on the factory Mahindra. Now a Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, it has been a tough start to 2015 for Oliveira who has failed to score any points this year. He and Kent had both been in the top five throughout all sessions in the weekend.

Danny Kent looked to have the edge in Qualifying as the temperature at the Termas de Rio Hondo rose, but a last lap from Oliveira saw him steal pole from the English rider. A time of 1’48.461 is a new pole position record at the Argentina track.

Oliveira will be looking for a drama free race on Sunday as he looks to kick-start his championship campaign. “It was a strange session because I struggled at the start. We really had to use the slipstream on our last run and I wasn’t expecting the pole,” reflected Oliveira.

With three 1’48s laps, Kent’s race pace looks formidable. The Brit has already shown that he can escape at the front if given a chance, as shown in Austin. The course of the weekend has seen Kent break away from the norm in Moto3™ and lap on his own. During Qualifying he was at times, one of only a handful of riders on track, exiting the pits as the others entered them and vice versa.  “I’m happy with our pace on new and old tyres so we’re prepared. The race is what matters,” confirmed Kent.

Second in the championship, Enea Bastianini was disappointed with his tenth on the grid. The Italian improved his lap time but is still struggling with holding his line around some corners; despite this he remains confident of his race pace. Romano Fenati’s Qualifying result improved dramatically, a 1’49.291 putting him eighth, almost half a second quicker than his time from FP3. The fiery Italian won last year’s race thanks to some aggressive riding.

All of the top five riders lapped in the 1’48s and were within half a second of each other. Niccolo Antonelli continues to impress on Saturday afternoon, once again placing his Honda on the front row of the grid. “We’ve been quick all day today and have worked hard so this third is very good result,” he said at the end of the day.

It was a disappointing 16th for Moto3™ rookie Fabio Quartararo after claiming his maiden podium in Austin. He had set a faster lap in FP3, but was struggled to work with teammate Navarro in Qualifying to get the best result. Navarro starts from seventh.

Karel Hanika also broke into the top ten in sixth position. The Czech KTM rider has been closer to the front this weekend than at any other point this year and will surely be in the fight for a top five on Sunday. Fellow former Red Bull Rookie, Livio Loi, was in 11th spot, his best Qualifying since he was ninth on the grid in Argentina last year.

The day saw crashes from Jorge Martin and Andrea Locatelli in FP3. Both Gabriel Rodrigo and Qatar winner Alexis Masbou fell in QP, Masbou still managing 13th on the grid.

Click here for the full Moto3™ Qualifying results, with the race due to start at 13:00 local time on Sunday.

Moto3, 2015, GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA, QP, Miguel Oliveira, Niccolò Antonelli, Danny Kent

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