Fernandez continues front row run at Catalan Grand Prix


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider will start from second in Barcelona, with teammate Kaito Toba in eighth position.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team had both of their riders go directly through to Q2 on Saturday at the Catalan Grand Prix, with Raul Fernandez going on to qualify second on the grid. The Spaniard will be on the front row for the sixth time this season out of a possible nine and was challenging for pole before a late crash. Kaito Toba showed further progress by lowering his lap times from Friday, placing on the third row, in eighth.

In the morning, Raul Fernandez had the same good feeling as on Friday, heading the FP3 timesheets during the first half of the session. Unfortunately, the Spaniard suffered a crash at Turn 5 with 17 minutes remaining, which halted his progression. Fernandez was able to get back on track to complete the practice eighth, with a time of 1:49.073 from a total of 13 laps. Kaito Toba made more steady steps forward, going faster than his previous personal best of the track by 9 tenths. On his 8th attempt of 18, the Japanese stopped the clock at 1:49.144, which earned him ninth.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo went straight through to Q2 and Fernandez remains the only rider in Moto3 to have not had to participate in Q1 this year. He was in the battle for pole position, leading the session and being the first to break the circuit record. However, in the closing moments the Spaniard suffered a crash at Turn 14 and ended second with a 1:48.380. Kaito Toba concluded a solid Qualifying 2 with his quickest time of the weekend, clocking a 1:48.729 for eighth place on tomorrow’s starting grid.

The 21-lap Moto3 Catalan Grand Prix race will start one hour later than the usual schedule, at 12 pm local time.


Results – QP
1. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:47.762
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.380 +0.618
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 1:48.380 +0.618
4. Albert Arenas (KTM) 1:48.390 +0.628
5. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:48.490 +0.728
8. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.729 +0.967



“It was a tough day for us, as we suffered two crashes. Above all, the second was quite a big one. I want to apologise to the team, because it was my mistake. Tomorrow it will be important to make a good tyre choice, because if we work on this aspect well it could give us a boost at the end of the race.”


“We had a great Saturday. We are working very well this weekend and that is being reflected by the results at the end of the day. My feeling is good for tomorrow’s race. I will try to stay focused and enjoy the contest – from which I hope to take a positive result.”