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VNE Snipers’ Romano Fenati is back on pole position in the Moto3™ class for the first time in nearly two years after clinching top spot in the dying moments of Q2 at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. The Italian was forced to do the hard way too, after progressing through from Q1 moments earlier, before then leaving it as late as possible to take pole position in what was a classic lightweight qualifying session.
Honda Team Asia’s Kaito Toba was sat at the top of the timesheets when the chequered flag was brought out but all 18 riders fighting for pole were currently on their final flying laps with red sectors everywhere.
Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee went it alone and crossed the line first, taking provisional pole position, but the Scotsman would slip down the order when the pack fired through with Fenati the man to come out on top.
McPhee’s Petronas Sprinta Racing teammate Ayumu Sasaki set the second-fastest lap of the session but due to the 12-place grid penalty he was handed for irresponsible riding during FP2, the Japanese rider will start from the back of the fourth row rather than the middle of the first.
Bester Capital Dubai’s Jaume Masia, fresh from announcing he will ride for the Leopard Racing squad with Dennis Foggia in 2020, will, therefore, line-up alongside Fenati on Sunday after he also progressed through from Q1. Joining the Italian and Spaniard on the front row will be McPhee, who benefited from his teammate’s penalty by being promoted onto row one.
Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) set the fifth fastest lap of the session but he was also handed a 12-place penalty so it will be his Honda Team Asia teammate Kaito Toba to front the second row of the grid. The Qatar GP winner is joined on row two by SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki and VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino, who was unable to match his new outright lap record from this morning’s FP3.
Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta heads row three of the grid ahead of Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) and Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), who bounced back from a crash earlier in the session. Championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) will have to defend his three-point advantage from thirteenth on the grid.
1. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) – 1:36.460
2. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.051 *
3. Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) + 0.229
4. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.230
5. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.245 *
6. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) + 0.302
7. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.328
8. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) + 0.331
9. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 0.430
10. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) + 0.513
* 12-place grid penalty
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