Fernandez storms to front row amidst heavy rain in Valencia


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider qualifies second for the European Grand Prix, despite the downpour that fell during Q2. Kaito Toba places 10th.


Not even a heavy downpour during qualifying for the European Grand Prix could stop Raul Fernandez from taking his ninth front row of the season. Both he and teammate Kaito Toba went straight through to Q2, before the Spaniard showed his pace in the wet to take a fantastic second place. Toba qualified 10th and will start from Row 4 tomorrow’s race.

The last Free Practice of the weekend was held in wet conditions, due to the rain that had fallen overnight in Valencia. This made it almost impossible to lower lap times from Friday, sending the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo into Q2. Both favoured a cautious approach, although Fernandez would lead the way at one point before his 1:50.465 time put him 10th after 17 laps. Toba preferred to avoid risks and finished in a comfortable 22nd position. His 1:51.500 lap was set on his 15th attempt of 18.

Fernandez remains the only rider in Moto3 to have gone into Q2 at every race so far in 2020. In the qualifying run for the European Grand Prix, the Spaniard had to contend with heavy rain that fell just minutes before the session, but set the second best time: 1:52.623, earning him a front row start. On Row 4 will be Toba, who was tenth with his 1:53.976 lap.

Tomorrow’s 23-lap European Grand Prix gets underway at 11 am local time.


Results – QP
1. John McPhee (Honda) 1:52.252
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.623 +0.371
3. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 1:52.663 +0.411
4. Albert Arenas (KTM) 1:52.821 +0.569
5. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) 1:53.179 +0.927
10. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:53.976 +1.724



“I want to thank the team, because every time I get on the bike I give my best but they are always behind me giving 110%. I have to acknowledge the part Aki [Ajo] plays as well, as he helps me to stay calm – something that is undoubtedly very important and will contribute a lot to my sporting career.

We had a great session and we are happy with the pace we showed. Tomorrow the weather conditions are sure to be different, so we have to wait and see what we encounter.”


“It wasn’t a bad day for us, despite the weather. The start of Q2 was tough due to the rain, but little-by-little I gained confidence and my feeling improved. I am ready for tomorrow’s race, which I hope will be held in dry conditions. However, regardless of how the track is, we will give everything that we have.”