Fresh from his first podium in Phillip Island, Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) put on a show for the home crowd in Valencia as he took his first ever pole position, on his final attempt – knocking none other than reigning Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) down to P2. Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia) was another who impressed, qualifying in P3 to complete the front row.
Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) was the first of those in competition for the coveted Rookie of the Year title, as the Italian heads the second row ahead of Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing). Guevara has shown incredible speed all weekend, and also impressed with a slightly different skill set in QP – gymnastics, penciling his name in as a contender for ‘Save of the Century’ as he stayed on his feet – but not his bike. Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) completes the second row.
Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) was top of the timesheets as the final shootout of the last ten minutes dawned, but the German was eventually pushed down to P7 by the flag – only 0.001 seconds ahead of eighth fastest, Dutch rookie Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Friday’s fastest – Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) – qualified in ninth, an impressive showing as the Italian comes back from an injury after sitting out Sepang.
Second Rookie of the Year contender Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) completed the top ten, with the third man in contention for that honour, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3), in P12.
Bastianini’s competition for second in the standings had a tough session – with Francesco Bagnaia (Pull&Bear Aspar Mahindra) in P16, and local hero Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in seventeenth.
The lights go out for the Moto3™ race at 11:00 local time (GMT +1) on Sunday, for the last lightweight tango of the year.
Moto3™ Qualifying Results
1 – Aron Canet (SPA) HONDA 1’39.261
2 – Brad Binder (RSA) KTM +0.018
3 – Hiroki Ono (JPN) HONDA + 0.104