Leopard Racing’s Marcos Ramirez will start a Moto3™ race from pole position on Sunday at the Pramac Generac Australian Grand Prix for the very first time after mastering some tough conditions. Phillip Island threw up high winds, rain and sunshine but all of the lightweight contenders were on slick tyres, requiring high levels of concentration and skill.
The Moto3™ grid were forced to wait too after wildcard rider Yanni Shaw’s Kalex KTM spat fluid across Turns 4 and 5 in the early running of Q1. Once back underway, the conditions were changing by the second and it forced riders to push immediately in case they missed the best of the weather.
In the end, Ramirez ended fastest for a maiden pole position after seeing off a late charge from Sterilgarda Max Racing Team’s Aron Canet. The two Spaniards will be joined on the front row by another Spaniard, in the form of Gaviota Angel Nieto Team’s Albert Arenas.
Fronting row two of the grid on Sunday will be John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) after the Scotsman was bumped off of the front row by the late-charging Canet. Row two is completed by Honda Team Asia’s Kaito Toba and the World Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta. The Leopard Racing rider will be crowned Moto3™ Champion if he scores four or more points than Canet in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
Mugen Race’s Andrea Migno ended the session seventh on the timesheets but there were contrasting fortunes on the opposite side of the garage as Jaume Masia crashed out of Q2 having earlier graduated through from Q1. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) will start eighth ahead of fellow Italian Celestino Vietti, with his SKY Racing Team VR46 teammate Dennis Foggia a place further back in tenth.
A handful of riders fell foul to the challenging conditions with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Can Oncu (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashing out during Q1. Meanwhile, VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino had his pole charge cut short after running out of fuel with the Italian ending thirteenth.
Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alonso Lopez and CIP Green Power’s Darryn Binder will start further down the grid after crashing out of Q1 but there were some smiles in the CIP Green Power box, after Tom Booth-Amos had the best qualifying of his career by ending fourteenth.
1. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) – 1:38.976
2. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.184
3. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) + 0.268
4. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.334
5. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) + 0.517
6. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 0.707
7. Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) + 0.739
8. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) + 0.842
9. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 1.085
10. Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 1.174
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