Phillip Island Moto3: Sandro Cortese grabs pole before rain hits

Moto3 world champion Sandro Cortese wrapped up pole position for the Phillip Island round as rain hit the latter stages of qualifying

Phillip Island Moto3: Sandro Cortese grabs pole before rain hits

Cortese and Jonas Folger had just begun to battle for pole in earnest when drizzle curtailed their contest a quarter of an hour from the end.

Ajo rider Cortese had just set a provisional pole time of 1m38.334s, four tenths clear of his compatriot on the Aspar Kalex, when the rain arrived.

Although the whole field went back out, conditions were too greasy for any of the pole contenders to improve.

Long-time provisional polesitter Efren Vazquez held on for third for Laglisse, ahead of Cortese's team-mate Danny Kent.

Sepang podium finisher Zulfahmi Khairuddin was one of the few to find any time on the slippery track, as he thrust the third Ajo KTM up to fifth in the closing seconds.

In a very strong afternoon for the team, its fourth rider Arthur Sissis delivered a career-best performance on home turf to qualify seventh, behind Miguel Oliveira.

A week after his dramatic but ultimately fleeting split with his Avintia team, Maverick Vinales qualified eighth for his return to the series. That put him just ahead of Luis Salom, his rival for the championship runner-up spot.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Sandro Cortese Ajo KTM 1m38.334s 2. Jonas Folger Aspar Kalex-KTM 1m38.727s + 0.393s 3. Efren Vazquez Laglisse FTR-Honda 1m39.179s + 0.845s 4. Danny Kent Ajo KTM 1m39.222s + 0.888s 5. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Ajo KTM 1m39.229s + 0.895s 6. Miguel Oliveira Monlau Suter-Honda 1m39.262s + 0.928s 7. Arthur Sissis Ajo KTM 1m39.337s + 1.003s 8. Maverick Vinales Avintia FTR-Honda 1m39.387s + 1.053s 9. Luis Salom RW Kalex-KTM 1m39.430s + 1.096s 10. Alessandro Tonucci Italia FMI FTR-Honda 1m39.451s + 1.117s 11. Alberto Moncayo Laglisse FTR-Honda 1m39.514s + 1.180s 12. Louis Rossi Germany FTR-Honda 1m39.536s + 1.202s 13. Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta FTR-Honda 1m39.572s + 1.238s 14. Romano Fenati Italia FMI FTR-Honda 1m39.595s + 1.261s 15. Niklas Ajo TT Motion KTM 1m39.631s + 1.297s 16. Alex Rins Monlau Suter-Honda 1m39.649s + 1.315s 17. Adrian Martin Laglisse FTR-Honda 1m39.750s + 1.416s 18. Isaac Vinales Ongetta FTR-Honda 1m40.167s + 1.833s 19. Alex Marquez Ambrogio Suter-Honda 1m40.336s + 2.002s 20. Brad Binder RW Kalex-KTM 1m40.372s + 2.038s 21. Armando Pontone Ioda Italia IODA 1m40.854s + 2.520s 22. John McPhee Caretta KRP-Honda 1m40.984s + 2.650s 23. Jack Miller Caretta Honda 1m41.177s + 2.843s 24. Alan Techer Technomag-CIP TSR-Honda 1m41.198s + 2.864s 25. Josep Rodriguez FGR-Honda 1m41.555s + 3.221s 26. Giulian Pedone Ambrogio Suter-Honda 1m42.027s + 3.693s 27. Kenta Fujii Technomag-CIP TSR-Honda 1m42.475s + 4.141s 28. Luca Amato Aspar Kalex-KTM 1m43.029s + 4.695s 29. Lincoln Gilding K1 Honda 1m43.045s + 4.711s 30. Riccardo Moretti Mahindra 1m44.393s + 6.059s 31. Toni Finsterbusch Germany Honda 1m44.809s + 6.475s 32. Sam Clarke Fastline Honda 1m46.873s + 8.539s 33. Niccolo Antonelli Gresini FTR-Honda 34. Danny Webb Mahindra 
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Series Moto3
Author Matt Beer