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MotoGP Aragon: Fourth pole for Fernandez, McPhee 10th

Raul Fernandez claimed his fourth Moto3 pole position of 2020 in dramatic style aboard his Red Bull KTM, with a 1’57.681 set on only his third lap of Saturday’s qualifying shootout.

Celestino Vietti will line up alongside the Spaniard on the front row for Sunday’s Aragon GP after coming within 0.05s of the weekend’s best time, with Albert Arenas claiming third in the dying seconds. Despite making his way into Q2 the hard way, John McPhee finished the day 10th giving him a fourth row start for tomorrow’s battle.

Determined to avoid being caught by the typical Moto3 train, McPhee delayed his start to the opening Q1, heading out with five minutes of action already underway. His strategy, however, seemingly undone as a gaggle of riders patiently waited with the usual front-runner.


A stunning effort from Ayumu Sasaki placed him in immediate control with a 1’58.744 as McPhee came across the line just 0.3 shy of the KTM on his first attempt. Kaito Toba and Carlos Tatay held the final promotion spots with five minutes left to play before the Avintia advanced to the lead on his next attempt.

A final flyer from Gabriel Rodrigo propelled the Gresini into the top-three, dropping McPhee to fourth but with no other riders able to challenge - in part due to the Scot failing to pull the pin much to the disappointment of the closely-trailing pack - he remained safe and continued into the final qualifying session, Toba losing out as he settled for fifth, and 19th overall.

The 15-minute-shootout began with McPhee setting an impressive early mark, Fernandez bettering the Petronas man’s time by three tenths on his first attempt before improving again to claim the first 1’57 of the weekend - the Spaniard controversially sitting up almost immediately while on the racing line to the detriment of the riders around him.

Romano Fenati initially took up the challenge to claim second, half a second down on the KTM, as Alonso Lopez stole his thunder by just six-hundredths moments later but with four minutes to go it was Celestino Vietti who topped them both as he too broke into the 1’57’s.

The final minutes saw the usual on-track chaos as multiple riders cruised along the back straight but a last-second attack from Arenas put the championship-leader onto the front row, in third, alongside the solo hard-charging duo of Fernandez and Vietti.

A fourth-place for Lopez sits the Husqvarna heading the second row ahead of Tatsuki Suzuki and Max teammate Fenati with Tatay, Ai Ogura and Rodrigo lining up on row three.

McPhee concluded qualifying in 10th ahead of Darryn Binder, Niccolò Antonelli, Andrea Migno and Hector Garcia as Deniz Öncü, Jeremy Alcoba, Jaume Masia and Sasaki rounded out the top-18.

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