Rookie sensation Diogo Moreira placed his MT Helmets on Moto3 pole position for the first time on Saturday ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The first Brazilian rider to head the lightweight grid, celebrations continued for the MSI KTM team as Ryusei Yamanaka completed the front row in third. Gaviota GasGas Aspar’s Izan Guevara split the pair in second while teammate Sergio Garcia secured a disappointing eleventh.
The opening qualifying action of the British GP weekend kicked off with Moto3 Championship leader Garcia facing the Q1 fight alongside VisionTrack’s Scott Ogden with Josh Whatley suffering a difficult start as he pushed his Honda back up pitlane as the opening five minutes unfolded.
Usual front runners Jaume Masia and Xavi Artigas were also vying for the final four places in the pole shootout as the first laps registered with Honda’s rookie Taiyo Furusato leading the way over Ricardo Rossi, Tech3’s Adrian Fernandez and CFMoto’s Carlos Tatay before the Sic58 rider took charge with a 2’11.458.
Masia advanced the KTM Ajo into fourth as the final five minutes began, Ogden circulating two places adrift and on 2’12.5 pace ahead of the final push with his teammate back on track but yet to register a time.
Garcia launched the Aspar GasGas from ninth to second as he navigated Silverstone just a tenth slower than the Italian in control and knocking Masia out in the process. Ogden sat on the wheels of a hard-charging group as the clock counted down improving his time but unable to gain enough to secure promotion with the Brit completing the session in tenth.
Rossi remained in charge from Artigas, Garcia and Furusato with David Munoz, Fernandez and Jaume Masia the first to miss out. Whatley claimed 12th for a 26th place start on Sunday’s grid ahead of Rivacold Snipers Alberto Surra.
The 18-strong shootout geared up with some usual lightweight mind games as the front runners set out on used tyres before peeling straight back into pitlane, the first times not being registered until six minutes into the session.
CIP Green Power’s Kaito Toba took charge with a 2’11.893 from Sic58’s Lorenzo Fellon, Rivacold’s Andrea Migno and Garcia before Moreira struck for glory with a 2’10.951. Rossi and MTA’s Stefano Nepa denying McPhee a provisional front row as the session found the halfway point, his Sterilgarda Husqvarna teammate sitting 0.049s behind in fifth.
Six to go and Leopard finally joined the action as Dennis Foggia and Tatsuki Suzuki claimed fourth and fifth. Guevara striking for second on the Gaviota Aspar with Deniz Öncü trailing the GasGas to fifth, Garcia continuing to struggle ten places back.
McPhee was trailed by a train of riders as the final three minutes fired up. Yamanaka joining his MT teammate in the top three with limited challenges coming from further down the field. Sasaki bettering his teammate in ninth as the chequered flag came out with McPhee forced to settle for tenth ahead of his home Grand Prix.