Another day, another record broken in Moto3™: Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) became the seventh different polesitter in the opening seven races of the season at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, taking his fourth career pole position by just 0.021 ahead of a stunning session for Japanese rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). It’s the first time since the introduction of the category in 2012 that the first seven pole positions have all been taken by different riders, and if Rodrigo can win on Sunday he would become the 12th different winner in a row, as well as the seventh different winner this year. And if he is the magnificent seventh different winner? It’ll be the first time it’s happened in the lightweight class since 1988.
Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) completes the front row and he’ll be the first aiming to stand in Rodrigo’s way and become the first repeat winner of the year, but the second row has some serious threats to contend with too. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) has been on both the pace and the podium this season, but he’s yet to visit to top step – something not true of Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), who lines up alongside him. The Championship leader will be aiming to win his second race of the season. Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) completes the second row, a Grand Prix winner already last year but another potential addition to the record-breaking roll in 2019.
Friday’s fastest Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) heads up Row 3 ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) after a crash for the man second in the standings, with John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) starting ninth. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) completes the top ten.
Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was eighth quickest but is the first of seven riders to have received grid penalties. Six have 12-place penalties: Masia, Championship contender Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46), Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race), Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) and Filip Salač (Redox PruestelGP). Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) has a six-place penalty.
Will more history be made on Sunday? Can Rodrigo become the first Argentinean winner in the lightweight class and add to the incredible roll we’re on in 2019? The lights go out for the Moto3™ race at 11:00 (GMT +2).
1 – Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG – Honda) 1’48.450
2 – Ai Ogura (JPN – Honda) +0.021
3 – Tony Arbolino (ITA – Honda) +0.314