Bagnaia targets Jerez podium after strong qualifying

Aspar Mahindra rider Francesco Bagnaia is confident of finishing on the podium in the Jerez round of Moto3, having qualified in fourth place.

Bagnaia targets Jerez podium after strong qualifying
Francesco Bagnaia, Aspar Team Mahindra
Francesco Bagnaia, Aspar Team Mahindra
Francesco Bagnaia, Aspar Team Mahindra
Jorge Martin, Aspar Team Mahindra
Karel Hanika, Platinum Bay Real Estate
Alexis Masbou, Peugeot MC Saxoprint
John McPhee, Peugeot MC Saxoprint
Fabio Spiranelli, CIP
Lorenzo Petrarca, 3570 Team Italia
Albert Arenas, Aspar Team Mahindra
Tatsuki Suzuki, CIP

Bagnaia has had a topsy turvy season so far, with a podium finish in Qatar followed by two disappointing results in Argentina and USA.

However, having secured his best qualifying result of the year and shown strong pace in practice, the Italian sees no reason why he can’t make it to the rostrum.

“I’m happy with the result,’’ Bagnaia said. “It was the best qualifying since Le Mans [last year] and we are ready for the fight tomorrow.”

“Also, we have good pace on the medium tyre. We have to push 100% in every lap. I can stay in the first group and fight for the podium.”

Although the MGP30 continues to lacks in acceleration against Honda and KTM, the Italian, however, hailed the Mahindra bike as the best in straight line speed, while also praising its braking prowess.

“Today the bike felt good. The speed is good. We need more acceleration out of the corner.

"But in the straight we are first. Also, descending is good. We can brake so late,’’ he explained.

Martin best of the rest

While Bagnaia was the star performer of the day, teammate Jorge Martin could qualify no better than 14th, with a time of 1m47.281s.

Albert Arenas qualified two places behind on his impressive Moto3 wildcard run, with Tatsuki Suzuki 21st in the lead CIP bike.

Peugeot's John McPhee and Alexis Masbou were 25th and 30th respectively, with Karel Hanika qualifying just ahead of the former in 26th place.

The Czech rider suffered a fall midway in the session but was able to continue.

Behind them Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay) and Lorenzo Patraca were 31st and 32st quickest, with Fabio Spiranelli 34th for CIP.

Team Italia’s Stefano Valtulini did not take part in FP3 as well as qualifying after the shoulder injury the Italian suffered in Austin.

"I am sorry for the team but I am forced not to race this weekend at Jerez. As jointly agreed, we decided not to take risk and not to stress the left shoulder after the injury at Austin," he said.

"I made this decision after a consultation with the doctors and I am sure that it's the right one. I took part in the first two sessions of free practice, but I wasn't able to ride the bike how I like and I hadn't enough energy to do my best."

Mahindra Qualifying Results:

Pos

Rider

Team

Time

4

 Francesco Bagnaia

Aspar Mahindra

1m46.680s

14

 Jorge Martin

Aspar Mahindra

1m47.281s

16

 Albert Arenas

MRW Aspar Mahindra

1m47.397s

21

 Tatsuki Suzuki

CIP

1m47.654s

25

 John McPhee

Peugeot

1m47.746s

26

 Karel Hanika

Platinum Bay

1m47.830s

30

 Alexis Masbou

Peugeot

1m48.431s

31

 Darryn Binder

Platinum Bay

1m48.499s

32

 Lorenzo Petrarca

Team Italia

1m48.595s

34

 Fabio Spiranelli

CIP

1m49.580s

-

 Stefano Valtulini

Team Italia

-

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