Update: McPhee will now start from pole after Martin was penalised 12 grid places for slow riding
Scotland’s John McPhee will start tomorrow’s Moto3 race at Mugello’s MotoGP round from the front row after narrowly losing out on pole to Jorge Martin in qualifying.
Martin took his fourth pole of the year – and third in a row – at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, with a stunning last dash over the line to just steal the honours from McPhee (British Talent Team) and Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing).
Mir was one to suffer an early incident with a highside out of Turn 1 during the session, rider ok, before home hero Nicolo Bulega then also took a tumble without consequence. With the action then dying down to leave the riders lying in wait in pitlane, the final dash saw the majority of the grid fighting in the final minute for a chance at pole.
As the initial group crossed the line, it seemed that pole position was going to go to McPhee – but a last effort from Martin, including a move on teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio before the line, saw the Spaniard steal the show in the last few seconds to head McPhee and Mir on the front row.
‘Diggia’ was fourth fastest, ahead of an impressive bounce back from Bulega and another solid performance from Juanfran Guevara to set the sixth best lap.
Championship hopeful Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was P7 for his home race , with Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) in eighth in another solid showing of form for the Spaniard.
Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) got back into the top ten in ninth, with Tatsuki Suzuki flying the flag for the new SIC58 Sqaudra Corse as they line up on home turf on the world stage for the first time.
Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) just beat Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to P11, with Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Darryn Biner (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completing the fastest fifteen.