Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) starts on pole position as he aims to get his season back on track. His qualifying lap time of 1:48.571 put him 0.381 seconds ahead of Aleix Viu (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) and beat the pole record of Manuel Pagliani by more than a second. Third quickest at the end of the two qualifying sessions was Viu’s team-mate Barry Baltus. The Belgian registered a 1:49.140 finishing 0.569 behind pole-sitter Öncü.
After his recent win in the Red Bull Rookies Cup Carlos Tatay will line up fourth on the grid, just ahead of LaGlisse Academy rider Jeremy Alcoba.
British Talent Team rider Max Cook starts from 21st on the grid. The number 30 lapped a 1:50.347 just six-tenths outside the top ten. The last time a British rider won a Moto3 race at Barcelona was back in 2013 when Wayne Ryan beat a certain Fabio Quartararo by more than ten seconds. He was racing with the KRP(Mark Keen)/Racing Steps Foundation. (YouTube video interview)
Only three riders improved their lap times in the second qualifying session as the track temperature rose. Red Bull Rookies David Salvador was one of them. Salvador was down in 34th in Q1. However, he managed to move up to 25th after he lopped over seven-tenths off his lap time.
The championship leader Yuki Kunii is unable to defend his lead in the championship after been knocked off in the last round of the Red Bull Rookies. He has a hand injury and is not competing this weekend. Xavier Artigas, who is third in the championship on 53 points to Kunii’s 70, lines up 8th behind his Leopard Impala Junior Team team-mate Davide Pizzoli. Jeremy Alcoba is currently second in the overall standings and 13 points behind Kunii. As already mentioned he will start from fifth.