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8 days ago
By motogp.com

Runaway Bulega banks pole at Motegi

Italian blasts away from the field in Japan, with Championship leader Mir set to start 20th

Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) has taken a stunning pole position for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan after going fastest on Friday and seeming the man to beat for much of the weekend. With conditions still wet and looking to remain so, the Italian has barely looked back since topping FP1 after an 18-lap non-stop stint – something that should set him up well for race day. It’s his second ever pole position, the other having come at Jerez in 2016 when a rookie.

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Moto3™: Bulega dominates Qualifying to take pole in Japan

Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was another impressive Italian in qualifying for the lightweight class and set the second fastest lap in the session to secure the middle of the front row, bouncing back in style from a highside in FP3 and able to move within a few tenths of Bulega towards the end of the session. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completes the front row, moving up on his penultimate lap.

Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is P11, with Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) putting in a solid session for P12 despite a crash. Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) moved up later in the session to take thirteenth.

Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is P11, with Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) putting in a solid session for P12 despite a crash. Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) moved up later in the session to take thirteenth.

That left Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) - currently 80 points clear – in P14, and the story gets worse: the Majorcan has a six-place grid penalty to serve in the Japanese GP, and therefore looks likely to start 20th. That means Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) should move up to fill the last two of the top fifteen grid positions.

For full results, click here! The race begins at 11:00 (GMT +9) on Sunday.

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

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#JapaneseGP: Moto3™ Qualifying Practice

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