Marcos Ramirez has given Honda its first taste of success at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit by taking Moto3™ pole position for Sunday’s Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.
In very challenging conditions the Italian took his maiden pole when he lapped the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in a best time of 1:38.976 seconds on his Leopard Honda.
That put him 0.18 seconds clear of Aron Canet, who will be looking for a win this weekend to keep his title hopes alive on the Sterigarda Max Racing Team Honda.
Albert Arenas, who won a thrilling Moto3™ GP at the track a year ago, took the final front row grid sport with third fastest on his Angel Nieto team KTM.
Following the trio of Spaniards will be John McPhee, the Scot moving up the charts late in the session, with a best time of 1:39.310 seconds on the Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda.
Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) leads points leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who can seal the Moto3™ title with a podium finish on Sunday.
There was much drama during the two-part session, the first part of which was red-flagged after eight riders crashed at Turn 4. Tony Arbolino looked set for a top grid position but he stopped unexpectedly with what appeared to be lack of fuel in his Honda. He will start from 13th.
One rider who may need luck to make Sunday’s race is Niccolo Antonelli, who crashed at Turn 4 and appeared to aggravate a collarbone injury.
It was a tough day for wildcard riders Yanni Shaw and Rogan Chandler. The Aussie failed to set a time after an engine problem, which caused the Turn 4 crashes, while New Zealander Chandler was back in 14th in Q2 and 28th overall, with a best lap of 1:55.110 seconds, 10s off fastest time and six seconds behind Ricardo Rossi in P13.
Sunday’s Moto3™ action is due to start with the warmup at 8:50am AEDT, with the 23-lap race scheduled to begin at 12:00pm AEDT.