New Moto3 star Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) splashed through heavy rain to claim his second pole position of the season, heading a phalanx of four Hondas topping the times in MotoGP’s smallest class. This was the sixth successive front-row lock-out for Honda’s NSF250RW, which also holds the lead and five of the top six positions in the championship.
Pole was a great 19th birthday present for Arbolino, who was an impressive four tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival. He currently lies a close fifth in the closely matched championship.
Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) qualified second, with Scots rider John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) in third. Each rider is a former Brno winner, and each has won a race already this year.
Japan’s Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) was fourth, missing the front row by three hundredths of a second, and poised for yet another challenge for his first win. Suzuki has led a number of laps this year, but not yet the crucial final lap.
Rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) qualified ninth. The 18-year-old from Tokyo will thus start from the third row, after being on the first or second row of the grids for four of the past six races, with strong top-ten finishes in the past three.
Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) came through from Q1 to head an all-Honda fourth row, from Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) and Qatar GP winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW). Nineteen-year-old Japanese ace Toba has challenged for the lead several times since then, only to lose his chances through crashes.
Tricky conditions meant an unusually wide spread of four seconds over the top 18 in Q2 and left championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) in 17th.
Wild card entry Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team Honda NSF250RW), placed 23rd in his first GP. The 16-year-old from Setagaya was one place ahead of Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) in his first visit to the Czech circuit.
Yesterday Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) suffered fractures to his right collarbone and pelvis, and has returned to Barcelona for medical treatment.