Moto3 pole went to 23-year-old South African Darryn Binder, younger brother of MotoGP rider and former Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder. Honda riders will fill three of the top four places on tomorrow’s grid, with Binder’s team-mate 26-year-old Briton John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF25
Binder was in brilliant form, coming through from Q1 to set the pace in Q2. He was bettered in the final moments of the session, until his final lap put him back on top. His performance suggests that the NSF250RW will be a strong contender for achieving its fifth consecutive Moto3 Constructors World Championship during 2021.
McPhee was in the same group at the end of the 15 minutes, lifting himself onto the front row with his last lap, just 0.079 seconds ahead of Alcoba.
Gabriel Rodrigo (Team Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) was favourite for a front-row start after running a very close third at the end of the three free practice sessions, but he could only manage seventh in Q2, missing the second row by one tenth of a second.
Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had every intention of graduating from Q1 to Q2 but missed promotion by less than three tenths of a second. The 18-year-old from Setagaya will start the race from the seventh row of the grid.
Team-mate Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) qualified six places behind Kunii in 26th. This is the 23-year-old Indonesian’s first race weekend in the Moto3 World Championship after riding his rookie GP season last year in Moto2.
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) started last year’s Qatar Moto3 race from pole and will start this year’s from last place on the grid. The 23-year-old from Chiba has had a complicated start to 2021: he missed testing due to contracting COVID-19, is struggling with the after-effects of the virus and had this evening’s qualifying lap cancelled for exceeding track limits.
Tomorrow’s World Championship racing starts with the Moto3 race at 17:00 local time, with the Moto2 and MotoGP races following at 18:20 and 20:00.
The Qatar GP is usually the only night-time MotoGP round, but this in 2021 will be followed by next weekend’s Doha GP at the same track.