The Spaniard made the most of a dramatic session as many missed out on a second flying lap.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez was the main man to benefit from some Moto3™ drama at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky as the Spaniard’s only flying lap of the session proved good enough to clinch a debut pole position, as many others missed their chance. Fast all weekend and all season, he’ll now head the grid for the first time, joined on the front row by Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo and SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki, who lost his perfect pole record in 2020 on Saturday.
The 15-minute Q2 session ended in bizarre circumstances as the field tried to wait it out in pitlane, leaving themselves only two minutes on the clock – and no chance of putting in a final flying lap. That left Fernandez unthreatened at the top, and the grid almost set.
After a crash out of contention in the Andalucia GP, Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura bounces back to head up the second row of the grid, joined by Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia and Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Jeremy Alcoba. The top six riders were separated by just half a second, but World Championship leader Albert Arenas’ (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) frustration was clear at missing a final shot at pole position. He starts seventh instead.
Having ended Q1 fastest, Rivacold Snipers Team’s Tony Arbolino bagged eighth, just ahead of compatriot Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). Rookie Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia) enjoyed his best qualifying of his young career by taking an impressive tenth, joined on row four by Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse).
Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing), Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) and Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) locked out the fastest fifteen.
Where’s John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing)? The Brit suffered a crash and will be starting down in P18 at Brno, the venue of his first win. Tune in for Round 3 of Moto3™ on Sunday from 11:00 (GMT +2) for another lightweight class stunner.
Moto3™ front row
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM 2:08.372
2 Gabriel Rodrigo – Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 – Honda – +0.211
3 Tatsuki Suzuki – SIC58 Squadra Corse – Honda – +0.336
Raul Fernandez: “I’m really happy, I want to say thanks to the team. We worked really well, all free practice it was incredible, and in the afternoon the feeling was incredible! In Moto3 it’s difficult to stay at the top and it’s important, and important for tomorrow in the race. I’m sure tomorrow we’ll have another crazy race like always, really difficult to make a gap… but we need to fight for the podium.”