Aron Canet storms to opening Moto3™ pole 1Sterilgarda Max Racing’s Aron Canet clinched the first Moto3™ pole position of the season in impressive fashion at the VisitQatar Grand Prix, the only man the go beneath the 2:06 barrier and eventually finishing just under two tenths clear of the chasing pack with a 2:05.883. The front row is completed by two men starting from there for the first time: Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) in second, although he was on the podium at Losail last season, and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) in third.

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) starts from fourth and could be one to watch as a former podium finisher at the venue too, impressing in the first ever Moto3™ Q2 despite coming through Q1. SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Nicollo Antonelli, who starts fifth, is another with a top record as the Italian won in 2016. He recovered from a crash at Turn 10 with seven minutes left on the clock in Q2.

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 the session ninth quickest, just three thousandths of a second ahead of reigning Junior Moto3™ World Champion Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team).

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. Can he fight back through in the race? Find out from 17:00 (GMT +3) on Sunday.

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