Moto3: Suzuki Hands SIC 58 Home GP Pole

In Misano, the conditions were almost perfect for the Moto3 riders as they headed out on track to qualify for the thirteenth round of the 2019 World Championship.

In Q1, Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) was the big name to have to try to get himself into the top four and advance to Q2 after the second-placed rider in the championship missed out in the final stages of FP3 on Saturday morning. It proved to be a successful session for Canet, who went through to Q2 in second place behind Niccolo Antonelli (SIC 58 Squadra Corse), with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC 58 Squadra Corse) and Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) joining Canet in the second session.

Q2 saw advancements from Suzuki and Canet, the Japanese rider taking pole position for Paolo Simoncelli’s outfit on the circuit named after his late son, whilst Canet rescued what could have been another dreadful qualifying with his final lap to go second and give himself a strong chance to erode some of the points advantage of championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) tomorrow.

Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) had a quite anonymous session, but took third place for his second home race of the season. He went from pole position to win at Mugello earlier in the year, and has given himself a good chance to do the 2019 Italian double with a front row starting position for tomorrow.

Jaume Masia (WMR) is newly unsponsored for this weekend, as is teammate Andrea Migno (WMR), but it did not slow the Spaniard down, qualifying fourth ahead of Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC 58 Squadra Corse) who will start fifth and sixth respectively for their home race.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta crashed at the end of his first run in Q2, and the Leopard Racing squad had too much work to do on his Honda by the time it got back to the garage that the 2018 Misano Moto3 winner forfeited his second Q2 run. His first run had him in fifth place, and fortunately for the championship leader there were few improvements in the second half of the session, meaning he will start from seventh tomorrow, with Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) – who topped both Friday sessions – and Leopard Racing teammate Marcos Ramirez joining the #48 on the third row.

Andrea Migno has had a reasonable weekend, and had a reasonable qualifying, starting from tenth, with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) and Filip Salac (Redox PruestelGP) joining him on row four.

It was thirteenth place for Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46), the only VR46 rider to not live in the Rimini area, something which cost reportedly him his spot in the VR46 Riders Academy. The #7 will be joined by John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – who crashed on his final lap in turn four – and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) on the fifth row; whilst row six is comprised entirely of riders who failed to set a valid lap time in Q2, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kommerling Gresini Moto3) having both of his fast laps cancelled for track limits and both Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) and Romano Fenati crashing on their first runs and missing the rest of Q2 as a result, Masaki going down quite hard in the process.

The fastest rider to miss out on Q2 was Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who probably had the pace to make the second session, but poor track position for his final lap meant he had too much traffic, and missed out to Fenati despite the Italian’s Q1 being compromised by a crash on his first lap. The Italian duo of Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) and Riccardo Rossi (Kommerling Gresini Moto3) will join Sasaki on the seventh row.

Alonso Lopez at the 2019 Misano qualifying session. Image courtesy of Jaime Olivares/Box Repsol

Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) will head up row eight and will be joined by Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), who was fast on Friday morning before a pair of crashes on the first day compromised his weekend, and Deniz Oncu (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who qualified twenty-fourth in place of brother, Can, who hurt himself on Friday and was declared unfit.

Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) has been unable to match the performance of his time-topping teammate, Arenas, throughout the weekend, and qualified down in twenty-fifth place, ahead of Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) who will join the #25 on row nine.

It was a tough qualifying session for CIP Green Power, with Darryn Binder qualifying one place ahead of teammate Tom Booth-Amos, the pair occupying the front two positions of the tenth row, whilst wildcard rider Meikon Kawakami (Fundacion Andreas Perez 77) qualified thirtieth for his first Grand Prix appearance. Fellow GP debutant, VR46-backed Italian Elia Bartolini (Sky Junior Team VR46) qualified last, in thirty-first.

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