Petronas SRT’s Darryn Binder claimed a masterful Moto3 pole at MotorLand Aragón on Saturday setting a 1’57.724 on his first hot-lap of the Q2 session.
Gabriel Rodrigo and Tatsuki Suzuki joined the South African for a Honda lock-out on Sunday’s front row after a quieter than normal Moto3 shootout.
The first Spanish qualifying saw Stefano Nepa in control of Q1 as the Moto3 riders took to the MotorLand track. Ayumu Sasaki sat second before the times shuffled and Suzuki and Kaito Toba stole the top two spots. The Sic58 rider circulating over six-tenths ahead of his closest challenger thanks to a 1’58.345.
Syarifuddin Azman sat best of the rest on his borrowed Petronas SRT Honda with Adrian Fernandez and Max Kofler in touch. The usual mid-session dawdling catching the stewards attention ahead of the final push.
Filip Salac joined the charge in the penultimate minute as the PruestelGP rider took second, Sasaki improving his time on his way to third.
The chequered flag caught Salac out after his final effort nipped at track limits, but with no further challenges registering the KTM man was safe. The same couldn’t be said for Kaito Toba. While the CIP rider was through to Q2, from fourth position, a late session crash saw his Green Power machine badly damaged, with his progress in the final shootout severely in doubt.
The all-important action got underway alongside the news that Sergio Garcia had been confirmed to stay with GasGas Aspar for 2022 rather than the widely expected move to Moto2, the impressive rookie Izan Guevara remaining as his teammate.
Binder led the way in the early times with a 1’57.724 from Gresini’s Rodrigo and the newly promoted Suzuki as the session fired up. The Japanese rider advancing further on his third lap to sit two-tenths off in second.
Niccolò Antonelli and Filip Salac circulated in fourth and fifth at the halfway stage, Jeremy Alcoba, Deniz Öncü, Andrea Migno and Xavi Artigas completing the provisional front three rows.
Pedro Acosta made the jump to fifth with five minutes to go, Toba crashing for the second time at turn seven from 16th.
A disappointing start to qualifying found Dennis Foggia last of the top 18 riders, Binder feeling the opposite confidence as he remained in the garage until the dying seconds, with time only allowing a practice start.
Yellow flags in sector two, due to a late crash for Suzuki, meant the South African’s gamble paid off and he claimed the pole with his first flying lap of the 15 minutes session.
Rodrigo and Suzuki remained alongside for Parc ferme celebrations with Garcia, Migno and Öncü consolidating a second row start from Sunday’s race. Acosta qualified in ninth with his fellow KTM’s of Jaume Masia and Sasaki losing out in their final push due to the waved yellows.