Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) scorched to his first Grand Prix pole position this afternoon, giving Honda its second Moto3 pole position of the year. The Spaniard – currently third in the points standings – outpaced Jack Miller (KTM) in the final minutes, ending up 0.025 seconds ahead of the Australian. Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) made it two Hondas on the front row, completing the outing 0.202 seconds behind Miller.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250R) is back to form at his hone race, following a difficult start to the season. He qualified fourth fastest, just 0.034 seconds off the front row, to make it three Hondas in the top four. The Frenchman and his crew adjusted the set-up of his NSF250R for this race, finding a new and promising direction that gives him the confidence to push the limits like he could last year. Masbou had moved into second place midway through the session, then lost the front and crashed at the Musee left-hander. Although he didn’t improve his lap time following the minor tumble, his earlier time was good enough to put him fourth.
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) was seventh fastest and will head the third row of the grid tomorrow, alongside fellow NSF250R riders John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda NSF250R).
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Efren Vazquez, SaxoPrint-RTG: pole position – 1m 42.491s
“I am a little surprised by this pole, even if I have always believed in this team and in the Honda Moto3 project. We have a good package and a good performance, so we are always up front at the moment. I’m happy and I hope we can continue like this. To think about winning the race tomorrow is difficult, because this is an unusual track where it’s difficult to overtake. We have a good rhythm, so we will need to be clever on the front lap, keep calm and see what happens in the last few laps.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 3rd – 1m 42.718s
“As I said yesterday, I’m starting to enjoy myself on the bike and I’m having fun. This gives me peace of mind, not having to always go to the limit, and I’m happy with the pace we are doing. Through all this we managed to make it to the front row once again. I believe that every time we go to the track I try to get better and from FP1 here we’ve managed to refine the set-up for the race. I feel more comfortable, but also I’ve had to change my style compared to last year, so we are slowly improving with every kilometre.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 4th – 1m 42.752s
“I’m happy. Our level wasn’t so high at the first four races, so we were a little afraid to come here. But we’ve done a good job all practice, so now I have feel, confidence and a good pace. Before this weekend we were a little stuck with last year’s settings – this year’s bike is similar to last year’s but there are many little things that are different, so we’ve had to find a new way. Now we need to fight for the podium tomorrow…”