Young rookie Bulega claims his first Moto3 pole at Jerez

The youngster has only completed three races within the Moto3 championship and already the 16-year-old Italian has claimed his first pole position after qualifying head of the fourth round of the Moto3 in Jerez, Spain.

Young rookie Bulega claims his first Moto3 pole at Jerez
Young rookie Nicolo Bulega claims first Moto3 pole ahead of race in Jerez | Photo: Mirco Lazzari

A rookie has claimed pole ahead of the fourth round of the Moto3 championship at the Cuircuito de Jerez in Spain on Sunday.

Nicolo Bulega is in his first season of the Moto3 class riding on a KTM for Sky Racing Team VR46. The VR46 Academy rider has been made such a strong despite the fact he his height means he have to ride in a unique way to fit on his 250cc machine. He managed to lap at 1:46.223 to claim pole, a time that is just 0.05 seconds slower than when Jack Miller completed the best ever lap in 2014; the circuit lap record is help by current championship leader Brad Binder in 2015.

Spanish Navarro led initially

At the start of the session it was Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda rider Jorge Navarro who set the fastest time at what will be his home GP. Bulega claimed pole position from him with under 20 minutes to go and no-one was able to get within 0.2 seconds of him. Brad Binder claimed second on the grid as he also beat Navarro who was unable to improve his time due to the amount of traffic on the track as many riders exited the pits at the same time to try and grab a tow from the a faster rider in front.

Jorge Navarro started well | Photo: motogp
Jorge Navarro started well | Photo: motogp

Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) finished in fourth at the start of the second row after he was clearly working hard to improve his time as he ran wide near the end of the session. Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) was not as lucky as Bagnaia as he crashed out with 16 minutes remaining.  He appeared unhurt at first but upon entering the pits when he returned he limped when he got off his bike. He still managed to qualify fifth ahead of the race.

Completing the second row is Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) who also crashed out towards the end of the session at turn two when the front end folded under him. Spaniards Joan Mir (Leopard Racing), Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Team and Italian Romano Fenati (Sky Racing VR46) make up the third row ahead of Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team VR46), Aron Canet (EG 0,0) and Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) complete the fourth row.

They are followed by Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) in 13th, Spaniard Jorge Martin in 14th (who is the fastest Mahindra 1.058 seconds slower than leader Bulega) and Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) has finished in 15th.

Albert Arenas (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team) is classed as a ‘rare addition’ to the Moto3 class this round as he been accepted to compete for this one event. He finished as the best extra in the class in qualifying after managing to gain 16th place on the grid. Also competing this round are Procercasa – 42 Motorsport wildcards Davide Pizzolo who qualified in 29th, crashed in the final stages forcing the Binder brothers wide, and his teammate Enzo Boulom only managed to qualify on the final place on the grid in 35th. Stefano Valtunlini (3570 Team Italia Mahindra) did not qualify.

  • The only British rider John McPhee (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) is the fastest Peugeot rider in the class after qualifying in 25th 1.523 seconds slower than Bulega. Maria Herrera (MH6 Laglisse) who is the only female in the class appears to be struggling as her performance does not reflect how she usually is; she will start in 33rd on the grid.