Jaume Masia emphasised his status as the form man in the Moto3 World Championship by taking his fifth pole position of the season in the Japanese Moto3 at Motegi.
A third consecutive pole position for the Spaniard puts him in an ideal position to carry the recent form that has seen him pull level with long-time points’ leader Daniel Holgado in the overall standings.
Indeed, after dominating last weekend’s Indian Moto3 from pole position, the Leopard Racing rider will be keen to put on a similarly emphatic display in Japan, not least because his main title rivals have some work to do if they want to get to the front.
Joining Masia on the grid will one of his more distant title rivals in Deniz Oncu, the Turk eyeing a return to form this weekend after injuries and penalties consigned him to a frustrating weekend in India, while Matteo Bertelle produced a fine lap to usurp the usual favourites to place his Rivacold Snipers bike into third.
Stefano Nepa leads Angeluss MTA team-mate Ivan Ortola in fourth and fifth, with series leader Holgado completing row three in sixth, the Spaniard no doubt relieved of a decent Q2 after struggles recently.
Collin Veijer bounced back from a difficult Friday learning the Motegi circuit to qualify seventh and ahead of Husqvarna IntactGP team-mate Ayumu Sasaki, the Japanese - who himself is just one point shy of the overall lead - heading the home charge in eighth.
David Munoz completes row three with David Alonso, a winner in three of the six events held since the summer break, completing the top ten.
Of the Brits, Scott Ogden and Josh Whatley have their work cut out from 21st and 27th on the grid respectively.
|2023 Japanese Moto3 | Motegi Twin RIng Circuit | Qualifying Results | Round 14 of 20|
|1||Jaume Masia||🇪🇦||Leopard Racing||Honda||1m 56.331|
|2||Deniz Oncu||🇹🇷||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||1m 56.539|
|3||Matteo Bertelle||🇮🇹||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||1m 56.651|
|4||Stefano Nepa||🇮🇹||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||1m 56.695|
|5||Ivan Ortola||🇪🇦||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||1m 56.759|
|6||Daniel Holgado||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Tech3||KTM||1m 56.776|
|7||Collin Veijer||🇳🇱||Husqvarna IntactGP||Husqvarna||1m 56.797|
|8||Ayumu Sasaki||🇯🇵||Husqvarna IntactGP||Husqvarna||1m 56.804|
|9||David Munoz||🇪🇦||BOE Motorsports||KTM||1m 56.892|
|10||David Alonso||🇨🇴||GASGAS Aspar M3||GasGas||1m 56.928|
|11||Diogo Moreira||🇧🇷||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||1m 56.960|
|12||Kaito Toba||🇯🇵||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||1m 56.972|
|13||Ryusei Yamanaka||🇯🇵||GASGAS Aspar M3||GasGas||1m 57.121|
|14||Taiyo Furusato||🇯🇵||Honda Team Asia||Honda||1m 57.129|
|15||Joel Kelso||🇦🇺||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||1m 57.153|
|16||Jose Antonio Rueda||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||1m 57.289|
|17||Tatsuki Suzuki||🇪🇦||Leopard Racing||Honda||1m 57.739|
|18||Riccardo Rossi||🇮🇹||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||1m 57.161|
|19||Xavier Artigas||🇪🇦||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||1m 57.657|
|20||David Almansa||🇪🇦||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||1m 57.908|
|21||Scott Ogden||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racing||Honda||1m 58.151|
|22||Filippo Farioli||🇮🇹||Red Bull KTM Tech3||KTM||1m 58.197|
|23||Syarifuddin Azman||🇲🇾||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||1m 58.371|
|24||Mario Suryo Aji||🇮🇩||Honda Team Asia||Honda||1m 58.442|
|25||Ana Carrasco||🇪🇦||BOE Motorsports||KTM||1m 58.735|
|26||Lorenzo Fellon||🇫🇷||CIP Green Power||KTM||1m 58.760|
|27||Joshua Whatley||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racing||Honda||1m 58.859|