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VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino will start a Moto3™ race from pole position for the third time in 2019 after the Italian pulled off a tactical masterclass in the closing stages of qualifying at the GoPro British Grand Prix. For the third time this weekend, Arbolino set a new outright lap record meaning he’ll line up at the front of the grid alongside Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto).
Once again, the lightweight class were playing games all session with seventeen of the eighteen riders in Q2 exiting pitlane at the same time and only just squeezing over the line by no more than a handful of seconds to get a final flying lap in. The only rider to go it alone was Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), who crossed the line first to provisionally move into tenth.
Meanwhile further back, Arbolino was being followed by nearly everybody else, thanks to the talented teenager's pace all weekend, but as the Italian was already sitting in provisional pole position, he rolled off ever-so-slightly to ruin the laps of everyone behind him and make sure that nobody else could improve. As a result, the 19-year-old bagged a fifth career pole position all thanks to showing intuition way beyond his years.
His 2:11.631, courtesy of his first run, meant he ended 0.079 seconds clear of Dalla Porta, who will look to extend his one-point Championship lead from the front row. The Italian pair will be joined there by the reigning Junior World Champion, Fernandez, who was four-tenths adrift of the leading two.
The young Spaniard claimed only a second-ever career front row after earlier progressing through from Q1, something Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) also had to do en route to fourth on the grid. Despite a crash on his final flying lap, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) claimed fifth ahead of Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee, who appeared to have struck a deal with Canet as the pair followed each other around during the session.
Row three of the grid will consist of another of the Q1 graduates in Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura and Leopard Racing’s Marcos Ramirez, who yesterday confirmed he’ll be moving up the Moto2™ class in 2020 with the American Racing squad. The final flurry of laps saw Canet shuffled back to the outside of the fourth row in twelfth, with Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) ahead of him in tenth and eleventh.
1. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) – 2:11.631
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 0.079
3. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) + 0.481
4. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.697
5. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.732
6. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.757
7. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.865
8. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.911
9. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.935
10. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia) + 0.977
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