moto3 / Spectacular Pole Position for Joan Mir’s records at Sepang
Last Sunday he won the World 2017 title, but Joan Mir still has a thirst for victory. This was on display today at the Sepang International Circuit where he broke the pole position record. An excellent third row for his teammate Livio Loi, his best qualifying of the season.
Big humidity on Saturday morning at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix. At 5.5 Km of the Sepang International Circuit, the inevitable tropical rain appeared a few minutes before the FP3, but the asphalt dried quickly and allowed the protagonists of the Moto3 class to gradually improve their respective chronometric references. With the world title already in his pocket, Joan Mir did not spare himself and began to force the rhythm so that, on his seventh lap, he fell under the barrier of 2’17, followed by the Italians Fenati and Bezzecchi. Mallorca’s talent, already the leader of yesterday’s combined times, also scored the best top speed (224.9 km / h) slightly higher than that of his team-mate Livio Loi, who spent a long time close to the Top Ten.
Already in the middle of the morning, a full sun warmed the Malaysian track and delivered ideal conditions (air 34°C / ground 44°C) to the two Leopard Racing Team riders to express themselves to their best. The two Leopard Racing Team riders were among the first to exit the pit-lane, determined to run consistently in the top positions. Joan Mir tasked himself with becoming the new Qualifying Specialist, while Livio Loi scored extra tenths with each lap. The Belgian made himself an excellent performer, translated into the 7th absolute time, a third row which is also his best seasonal qualification.
In the last 3 minutes, the World Champion entered the box for a tyre change and headed out with one goal: the pole position he still lacked in this triumphant season. With a fourth screaming spot, Mallorca’s talent stamped down an impressive 2’12.078, crushing the previous record that belonged to Jack Miller from 2014. Joan Mir claimed his objective with the first pole of his incredible season, the second ever in his career after Austria 2016. In the front row with him, Jorge Martin and Britain’s John McPhee: they see that “JM-power” of the first two Grand Prix of the season … and we all know how well they ended up!
#36 Joan MIR – 1st (2’12.078):
“I am very happy: winning a world title without earning a pole position is quite weird! I’m really happy with the rhythm, we made a spectacular ride: but I think it all comes from the work done so far these two days. Tomorrow we can turn as we want and have fun … and maybe win another!”
#11 Livio LOI – 7th (2’13.311):
“It was a positive qualification, it was only in the final meters for a pilot who slowed down in traffic in the first two areas. It cost me to pass it and I lost those ten precious ones. All in all, taking the third row tomorrow is not bad at all.”
Moto3™ Qualifying Classification:
1 – J. Mir / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 2’12.078
2 – J. Martin / SPA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / 2’12.457
3 – J. McPhee / GBR / British Talent / Honda / 2’12.816
4 – B. Bendsneyder / NED / Red Bull Ajo / KTM / 2’13.161
5 – G. Rodrigo / ARG / RBA Racing / KTM / 2’13.165
6 – J. Danilo / FRA / Marinelli Rivacold / Honda / 2’13.309
7 – L. Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / 2’13.311
Moto3™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT +8):
Sunday, October 29th:
09:40-10:00 – WarmUp
12:00 (18 Laps) – Race
Photo credit: Leopard Racing