Sterilgarda Max Racing’s Aron Canet clinched the first Moto3™ pole position of the new season in impressive fashion at the VisitQatar Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was the only man the go beneath the 2:06 barrier, eventually finishing just under two tenths clear of the chasing pack with a 2:05.883.

After finishing second in the first ever Moto3™ Q1 session, Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee looked set to grab a front row start but with the chequered flag out Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) stole second and third on the grid to grab debut front row starts for both riders.

McPhee will front row two after Bester Capital Dubai’s Andrea Migno had his final flying lap cancelled for exceeding track limits, seeing the Italian drop from fourth to seventeenth on the grid.

SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Niccolo Antonelli recovered from a crash at Turn 10 with seven minutes left on the clock in Q2 to qualify fifth, 0.490 adrift of Canet’s pole lap.

Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) will sit on the outside of the second row of the grid, ahead of Italy’s Tony Arbolino (Snipers Team) and SKY Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti after he became the first man to top a Moto3™ Q1 session.

Reale Avintia Arizona 77’s Vicente Perez ended ninth quickest, just three thousandths of a second ahead of the reigning Junior Moto3™ World Champion Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) in tenth.

A hugely frustrated Romano Fenati (Snipers Racing) had to settle for eleventh on the grid after not leaving pitlane for his last attempt at taking pole position until there was exactly two minutes remaining, meaning the chequered flag came out before he could start a final flying lap.

Row four is rounded out of by Kömmerling Gresini’s Gabriel Rodrigo, who battled to twelfth place despite still recovering from collarbone surgery.

During Q1, Jaume Masia of Bester Capital Dubai KTM and Ricardo Rossi, Rodrigo’s Kömmerling Gresini teammate, crashed out unhurt.

Top ten:
1. Aron Canet – (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) – 2:05.883
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta – (Leopard Racing) – +0.197
3. Kaito Toba – (Honda Team Asia) – +0.226
4. John McPhee – (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – +0.425
5. Niccolo Antonelli – (SIC58 Squadra Corse) – +0.490
6. Albert Arenas – (Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team) – +0.643
7. Tony Arbolino – (Snipers Team) – +0.738
8. Celestino Vietti – (Sky Racing Team VR46) – +0.780
9. Vicente Perez – (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) – +0.787
10. Raul Fernandez – (Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team) – +0.790

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