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There had never been a lightweight pole position for an Argentine rider before the Czech GP, but that’s now a stat from the past as Gabriel Rodrigo went from gravel to glory in the space of a lap. Following an early crash in the session, the Argentina rider managed to get back out on track with enough time to push for just a single lap – but he more than made it count, as the one-lap wonder in the final seconds of the session saw him take pole by a tenth and a half.

The man he deposed was Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers), who was second fastest after having proved the pacesetter for much of qualifying, with second RBA BOE Racing rider Juanfran Guevara completing the front row after an emotional rollercoaster QP for the team with a definitively happy ending.

Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) will be launching his hunt for the win from fourth on the second row, ahead of Saturday morning’s fastest Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46). Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is also set up well for Sunday, taking P6 to complete Row 2.

Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) built on his FP3 to qualify seventh, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Livio Loi (Leopard Racing). Südmetall Schedl GP Racing’s Philipp Oettl completed the top ten.

It was an impressive performance from SIC Racing Team’s Ayumu Sasaki to take eleventh, with Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), QP crasher Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) completing the fastest fifteen.

Two frontrunners who suffered in the session were title challenger Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), whose best lap put him P17, and 2016 Brno winner John McPhee (British Talent Team), who faces a fight back from P19.

Now the stage is set, the curtains go up on Sunday at 11:00 (GMT +2).

Moto3 Qualifying Results
1 – Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG – KTM) 2’08.571
2 – Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) + 0.150
3 – Juanfran Guevara (SPA – KTM) + 0.303

Joan Mir top on Friday, Georgi steals the headlines