Red Bull KTM Ajo's Raul Fernandez clinched his second pole in seven days after backing up his debut Moto3™ pole in Brno by taking another pole at the myWorld Austrian Grand Prix. In doing so, the Spaniard took a home pole position for KTM at the Red Bull Ring and it came in quite dramatic circumstances in a frantic final few moments, that saw the Spaniard jump ahead of World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing).
With only a handful of seconds remaining, the title leader Arenas jumped to the top of the timesheets and looked like hanging on to what remarkably would've been a career first pole for the 23-year-old. However, Fernandez mustered up another superb lap with his final one of the session to steal top spot away and bag back-to-back lightweight class pole positions. By only the narrowest margins, though, with the former Junior Moto3™ World Champion 0.011 clear of Arenas thanks to his 1:36.277.
The Spaniards will be joined on the front row by Scotland's McPhee, who himself is only 0.029 of a second adrift of Fernandez. Fronting the second row of the grid on Sunday will be Leopard Racing's Jaume Masia after he set a 1:36.371, meaning the front four riders are split by less than a tenth. SKY Racing Team VR46's Celestino Vietti held provisional pole after the first flying laps but slipped back to fifth, ahead of the Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) who completes the second row.
Kömmerling Gresini Moto3's Gabriel Rodrigo is 0.294 of a second back in seventh place, with Free Practice pacesetter Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) joining the Argentine on the third row of the grid for Sunday's lightweight class race. Rounding out a top ten seperated by less than half a second is the impressive rookie Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3).
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:36.277
2. Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) + 0.011
3. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.029
4. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) + 0.094
5. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.185
6. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.218
7. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 0.294
8. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.367
9. Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) + 0.453
10. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.479