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MotoGP Misano: Disaster for McPhee as Ogura takes maiden Moto3 pole

Ai Ogura celebrated his maiden Moto3 pole position at the Misano this afternoon, with a spectacular last-minute challenge from the Honda Team Asia rider. A 1’42.403 securing the young Japanese rider’s place at the head of Sunday’s grid.  

Qualifying for the Moto3 San Marino GP got underway in challenging circumstances for John McPhee, with an early crash at turn four sending him straight back to the garage.

Regrouping quickly, the Scotsman set out to redeem himself on his Petronas Sprinta Racing machine, heading out for a one-and-only shot in the closing stages of the session but it wasn’t to be.


His earlier time of 1’43.327, set on his second flying lap, sees him line up 17th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Showing his pace from the outset, Ogura took first blood after the initial flurry of fast laps before SKY Racing Team VR46’s Andrea Migno and SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki shot to the top in quick succession with less than four minutes to go.

Suzuki’s 1’42.434 holding fast before Gabriel Rodrigo swept in aboard the Kömmerling Gresini with a 1’42.419 in the dying moments, only to be finally outdone by Ogura’s effort as the last rider to cross the line.

Having moved through from Q1, Romano Fenati used the early session’s experience to put in a strong time of 1’42.6 for Sterilgarda Max Racing to claim fifth on the grid. Raul Fernandez rounds out the second row for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Celestino Vietti, Jeremy Alcoba and Tony Arbolino - the latter through from Q1 - line up on row three, with Filip Salac, Sergio Garcia and Ricardo Rossi on row four.

A disappointing showing from Albert Arenas finds him in 13th alongside Jaume Masia and Dennis Foggia, with Stefano Nepa in 16th, McPhee and Alonso Lopez, both fallers, conclude the standings in 17th and 18th respectively.

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