Perfect ten: Martin takes pole in mad dash to slicks

Rain, no rain, wets, slicks...the Spaniard stuns the field in a tricky session for the lightweight runners

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) set his tenth pole position on Saturday at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with a drying track seeing late switches to slicks throughout the field and the Spaniard coming out on top by an impressive 0.496. He was ahead of Championship leader and key rival Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) completing the front row as the Brit blasted up the timesheets.

The session began on wets before the rain began to abate and the first man to try slicks was a brave Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) – initially over six seconds clear of the field before they caught on and headed into pitlane. But the heroics didn’t quite pay off as they did for Alma Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller in Argentina – with enough of the session remaining to allow the majority to switch.

But the grid has set us up for a stunner on Sunday, with the experienced trio at the front chased by a Row 2 featuring Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as he gets back to full power following injury, podium finisher Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and the ‘Beast’ Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing), expected to mount a title challenge.

Then comes a superstar performance in qualifying from rookie and reigning FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Champion Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in seventh, ahead of former Asia Talent Cup and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in eighth. Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP), the Argentina GP winner, completes the third row – with Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) another rookie stunner in P10, just edging early gambler Oettl.

It’s an exciting grid for Sunday’s race, with a few names looking to mount a fight back – including Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in P19 and Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) in P12, off the front row for the first time this year.

The lights go out for the lightweight rodeo at 11:00am local time (GMT -5). For full qualifying resuts, click here!