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McPhee celebrates new contract with pole in Moto3™

McPhee celebrates new contract with pole in Moto3™

John McPhee took his second pole of the season, while the two title contenders Oliveira and Kent will start from 4th and 18th respectively.

In the Moto3™ title fight it was advantage Miguel Oliveira (4th) as he managed to out qualify his rival Danny Kent (18th), but it was SAXOPRINT RTG’s John McPhee who celebrated signing a new contract with his team by claiming his second career Moto3™ pole position at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Scotsman had been seventh after practice but improved to take pole with a 1’39.364, despite crashing towards the end of the session. His time was not the fastest from the weekend, but it was good enough for pole in an incredibly tight session that saw just one second separate the top 23 riders.

Sky Racing Team VR46’s Romano Fenati (+0.086s) will start from the front row for just the third time this season after he qualified in second. The Italian was also the leading KTM rider at a track the manufacturer has never lost at in the Moto3™ class.

Leopard Racing’s Efren Vazquez was just a further 0.013s further back in third, as only 0.099s separated the front row. It will be Vazquez’s second front row start of the season, after he also qualified in third at the Australian GP.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira (+0.139s), who trails Kent by 24 points in the championship standings, left it late to snatch fourth. It is the first time the Portuguese rider has not been on the front row since the Japanese GP.

Estrella Galicia 0,0’s local hero Jorge Navarro (+0.161s) will start from the middle of the second row in fifth. It is the man who hails from Valencia’s fifth second row start of 2015.

Gresini Racing Team Moto3’s Enea Bastianini (+0.217s) completed the second row in sixth, ahead of his compatriot Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold), with the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo of Karel Hanika and Brad Binder in eighth and ninth respectively, despite the former crashing early on in the session.

Hiroki Ono (Leopard Racing) completed the top ten as his teammate, and championship leader, Kent (+0.649s) had to settle for 18th after making a mess of his tactics during the session. Kent has seen Oliveira close his lead in the standings from 110 points after Silverstone to just 24, and despite knowing he just needs to finish in the top 14, hasn’t made it any easier for himself.

Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) will start from 11th on his return from the injury that has seen him miss the last five races. Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) was earlier given a three-place grid penalty for riding slowly on the racing line in FP3, but it didn’t make any difference as he qualified in last anyway after a big crash in the same session.

Check out the full Moto3™ Qualifying results; the 24-laprace starts at 11:00am local time on Sunday.


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