Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) rode to his third Moto3 pole position of the year at the end of a typically thrilling session, which was more like a race than qualifier, with several bunches of fast riders fighting each other for the fastest lap.
The 19-year-old Italian ended the 15-minute Q2 outing just 0.079 seconds ahead of fellow NSF250RW rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who currently leads the Moto3 World Championship for Honda.
Both Arbolino and Dalla Porta are on strong runs of form. The teenager has scored a victory, a second place and a third place from the last four races, while 22-year-old Dalla Porta has taken a victory and two runner-up finishes from his last four outings.
Honda riders once again dominated the upper orders of the grid, with no less than nine NSF250RW machines in the top 11. The situation is similar in the World Championship, with five NSF250RWs in the top six of the points chase.
Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) leads row two ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW), who slid off at the very end of the session.
The last four Honda riders in the top 11 are Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) and Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW).
Rookie Ogura has also had a great run of results, considering his lack of Grand Prix experience, with three top six-place finishes from the last six races. Once again, Silverstone is another new circuit for the impressive 18-year-old from Tokyo.
Ogura’s team-mate, Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), had high expectations for Q2, after completing the Q1 session fastest, two places ahead of Sasaki. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka made a minor error in strategy in Q2 and didn’t ride his best lap until the very end of the session, when there was a lot of traffic around.
Tomorrow’s race schedule is different to the usual format. The Moto3 race will get underway at 11:20 UK time, followed by the MotoGP race at 13:00 and the Moto2 at 14:30.