Juanfran Guevara qualifies 14th in Motegi, Jorge Martin 23rd
Even though the sky over the Motegi circuit turned a threatening shade of grey this afternoon it stayed dry for Moto3 qualifying and the riders were able to set a red hot pace.
Niccolo Antonelli was the favourite for pole after leading all three free practice sessions here, but a crash for the Italian in the closing moments ruined his chances.
Romano Fenati took advantage to claim the first pole position of his career, thanks to an early lap of 1’56.484 that broke the circuit record and remained out of reach of the rest of the field for the final eighteen minutes of the session.
Oliveria and Navarro came closest as up to ten riders qualified within a second of Fenati and it promises to be a close and fast race tomorrow, weather permitting.
Juanfran Guevara clocked his best effort on race rubber as he improved his consistency and found more than a second in qualifying, and even though he admitted to struggling in the final corner he still qualified in a solid fourteenth position.
MAPFRE Team Mahindra youngster Jorge Martín is still searching for the ideal set-up on his first visit to Motegi and he will have to fight back from 23rd on the grid tomorrow.
14th Juanfran Guevara 1.57.525 (15 laps):
“Yesterday and this morning I didn’t feel comfortable in some of the braking areas. We didn’t change anything major on the bike but Gino [Borsoi] was out on the track and he told me where I could change my riding in some sections of the track. I went into qualifying with his advice in mind and it worked well. In the end we qualified in a decent position, fourteenth, which means I can look forward to the race. I guess if it is dry the front group could break clear but our job is to push hard from the start and try to stay close to the front for as long as possible. We had a pretty good qualifying session and I feel ready for the race now. The most important thing today is that I set my best lap on race tyres.”
23rd Jorge Martín 1.57.812 (16 laps):
“In the end this morning’s crash didn’t set us back and I was able to ride during qualifying. I don’t know what’s happening this weekend but we can’t find a set-up that allows me to ride comfortably. At this track you have to get the bike stopped and get on the gas early but I have not been able to do that as I would like and I am losing quite a lot of time in this area. We tried a different rear shock in qualifying to try and gain a little rear grip but we lost some performance in braking so we had to switch back. The weather is unclear for tomorrow but if it is dry we will have to try something else with the set-up and if it is wet we will just do our best.”
Source: Aspar Media