Raul Fernandez achieves second consecutive pole at Austrian GP


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider claims the top spot in qualifying, but things were tougher for 17th-placed Kaito Toba.


The Moto3 Austrian Grand Prix starting grid was set on Saturday, and for the second consecutive round it will be Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Raul Fernandez who leads the field when the lights go out. The Spaniard set the best time in qualifying, right at the chequered flag. Teammate Kaito Toba, who also went directly into Q2, suffered an incident with another rider in the final part of the session, and will start from the sixth row.

The last Free Practice was held in wet conditions, despite the fact that the rain had stopped just before it got underway. Raul Fernandez felt comfortable regardless, heading the timesheets at several stages. Finally, the Spaniard ended in third place with a time of 1:43.300, set on his last lap out of a total of 20. Kaito Toba was seventh after stopping the clock at 1:43.724; he completed 17 laps in all. A crash at Turn 1 at the end of FP3 prevented him from making further progress.

Both Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders went straight into Q2 thanks to their times from Friday. Leaving it late to put in his best lap, Raul Fernandez snatched pole position for the Austrian GP thanks to a spectacular 1:36.277. It is the second pole of his career, and the second in the space of seven days. Kaito Toba suffered a crash at Turn 10 and thus his 1:37.398 lap proved definitive, leaving him 17th on the grid.

The 23-lap Austrian Grand Prix kicks off tomorrow at 11 am local time.


Results – QP
1. Raul Fernandez  (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.277

2. Albert Arenas (KTM) 1:36.288 +0.011
3. John McPhee (Honda) 1:36.306 +0.029
4. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:36.371 +0.094
5. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 1:36.462 +0.185
17. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.398 +1.121



“Today was very positive. I took it easy in the last Free Practice session because of the shape the track was in, and I wouldn’t have been able to draw many conclusions. However, in the afternoon we managed to take another pole and I am happy about that. Now we have to continue working to improve some aspects of the bike, with our sights set on tomorrow’s race. If we can get me feeling a little more comfortable, we could be fighting for the podium.”


“It was a tough qualifying session for us. Tomorrow we will start from far back on the grid, so we will have to work hard during the race. We have to improve the way we manage practice sessions, especially on a mental level – that is the key to being able to get up to the front. I will try to push hard from the start to latch onto the group at the front, and be able to fight for the top positions.”