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Danny Kent takes pole position at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix after setting the fastest ever Moto3™ lap at the circuit.
Leopard Racing’s runaway Moto3™ World Championship leader Danny Kent took his fourth pole position of the 2015 season after recording the fastest-ever lap by a Moto3™ bike at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kent didn't dominate like he has done at some circuits this year though and it was a much more typically competitive Moto3™ session, as just 0.108s split the front row and less than nine-tenths of a second separated the top 19 riders.
The British rider, like many others, started the session in race trim to work on his setup for Sunday, before switching onto some fresh rubber to set a 1’40.703 with 18 minutes to go. Despite a frantic last few seconds that almost saw Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira takeover top spot, Kent held on to take pole position by 0.088s from the Portuguese rider in ideal conditions (44ºC Track Temp) at the ‘Brickyard’. Oliveira, who has won two races so far this season, impressed on his comeback from the injury to his left hand that had forced him to miss the German GP.
Drive M7 SIC’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin (+0.108s) pulled off the surprise of the day to produce his best Qualifying performance of the season after benefitting from a Niccolo Antonelli tow to finish in third. It was the Malaysian rider's first front row start since he was on pole at the Malaysian GP in 2012, and a big improvement on his previous best Qaulifying position of 17th at the Sachsenring. Kent’s closest championship rival, Enea Bastianini (+0.172s) on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 Honda, will start from the front of the second row after setting a time good enough for fourth.
Estrella Galicia 0,0’s rookie Fabio Quartararo (+0.359s) and Brad Binder (+0.389s) on the Red Bull KTM Ajo complete the second row with Kent’s teammate Efren Vazquez starting from the head of the third row. Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold), Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Jorge Martin (Mapfre Team Mahindra) round out the top ten.
SAXOPRINT RTG’s Scottish rider John McPhee will have to start from back of the sixth row in 18th, while debutant Lorenzo Dalla Porta on the Husqvarna Factory Laglisse bike will line up on the grid in 30th place. Schedl GP Racing’s Phillip Oettl had been seventh fastest overall heading into Qualifying, but a big crash at turn 7 on just his fifth lap ended his participation in the session, and he will start from the back of the grid in 34th.
Check out the full Moto3™ Qualifying results, the 23-lap race kicks off at 11:00 local time in Indianapolis on Sunday.
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