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Antonelli snatches pole in #QatarGP qualifying

The SIC58 Squadra Corse rider took his first pole position in two seasons to head the grid in Losail

2016 Qatar GP winner Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) has taken pole for the first race of the 2018 season, setting a 2:06.364 after the chequered flag to take his first pole in two years to mark the first time ever that Paolo Simoncelli’s team will head the grid in Moto3™. But just 0.001 adrift of Antonelli was 2017 qualifying superstar Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) – who took pole for half of the races last year – with Argentine Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider), completing the front row of the grid.

Highlights: Antonelli takes first pole of the year in Losail

2017 Rookie of the Year Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) kicked off his season in style by heading the second row, with Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) putting in a stunner to make it two Japanese riders inside the top five. Marco Bezzechi (Redox PruestelGP) is looking very at home on his KTM too, lining up on the outside of the second row.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) and the Leopard Racing duo of Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Enea Bastianini complete the top ten.

Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) is the top rookie and lines up 13th, whilst all eyes were on the other Spanish newcomer Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) after he suffered the only crash midway through the session at Turn 9 – rider OK.

#QatarGP: Moto3™ Qualifying Practice

The stage is set for the opening Moto3™ race of the season on Sunday and it kicks off at 16.00 local time (GMT+3).