Tatsuki Suzuki claimed pole for the Moto3 season opener at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar for the SIC58 squad.
Suzuki-who had to progress through the preceding Q1 session to take part in the pole shootout- set his quickest effort as the first runs came to a close, his 2:04.815 ultimately enough to secure pole as none of rivals were able to usurp him as the session wound down.
Raul Fernandez-who led both FP2 and FP3- came closest, the Ajo man missing out on the top spot by just 0.008, while Albert Arenas joined the pair on the front row having also come through Q1.
Darryn Binder managed a strong fourth for the CIP team, the South African pipping Ai Ogura and Jaume Masia to lead the second row.
Andrea Migno will start seventh tomorrow for VR46 ahead of Deniz Oncu’s Tech 3-run KTM, while John McPhee and Tony Arbolino completed the top ten for Petronas SRT and Snipers respectively.
Q1 honours went to Gabriel Rodrigo meanwhile, the Argentinean finding speed when it mattered, his last flyer of 2:05.254 proving to be the money lap as he led early leader Suzuki by just 0.022.
Suzuki led the way following the first runs, but was unable to improve on his final gambit-although remained second ahead of Jeremy Alcoba and Arenas-who denied Dennis Foggia a Q2 chance at the death.
Foggia therefore will have to start 19th on the grid, while Filip Salac will have to line up just behind as the Czech crashed out on his final lap while lying third-getting shuffled back to sixth by the end of the session.
Rodrigo fared worse in Q2 though, the Gresini man having to settle for 13th on the grid for Sunday’s contest, two places behind the final other Q1 graduate Jeremy Alcoba.