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Martin supreme for pole as Suzuki and Sasaki impress

‘Mr Pole Position’ strikes again to top qualifying by two tenths – with a Japanese lockout completing the front row

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) kept his awesome record in qualifying at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, taking provisional pole and then bettering that on his final run to end the session 0.190 ahead of the field. That field was headed by two equally impressive performers: Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who locked out the front row for Japan.

Italian GP: Moto3™ Qualifying Practice

It’s the first front row start for both and with no Italians on the front row, Suzuki flies the flag for the home nation with the SIC58 Squadra Corse outfit. And, after getting tangled in a crash earlier in the day, Sasaki’s ride through the pain barrier – despite still suffering with an injury to his leg sustained in Le Mans – made for an incredible performance for the former Asia Talent Cup and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion.

Aron Canet (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was also in close company, just 0.014 further back heading up the second row – with first Italian, Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrüstelGP) – 0.017 in arrears to complete the top five. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took P6 and P7 respectively on home turf as the gaps remained incredibly tight, ahead of Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai). From second to ninth is covered by just over two tenths – an incredible preview of what’s to come on race day at the venue that saw 21 riders fight for the win last season.

Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) took tenth as the third former Asia Talent Cup rider in the top ten – and he’s just ahead of compatriot and top rookie Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider), the reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion…and another former Asia Talent Cup competitor in an impressive day for the graduates of the Road to MotoGP™ program.

The stage is set for a showdown at Mugello, with the times incredibly tight and some big names looking to slice through from further back – including Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) in P14 and last year’s winner Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team) in P15. Will the fight at the front be another 20+ strong battle? Find out on Sunday from 11:00 (GMT +2).