China MotoGP: Bradley Smith takes third pole of the season

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Britain’s Bradley Smith will start the China 125GP from pole position for the third time this season after putting in an impressive display in the second qualifying session this morning.

The Polaris World Aprilia rider improved on his best time of 2:13.275 from yesterday by 0.9secs to go from second up to the top spot.

Danny Webb is the next highest British rider and will start from the third row of the grid. He did improve on yesterday’s time, but with almost all the riders going faster in the warmer weather, he slipped from ninth to tenth.

Scott Redding, who has been impressive so far in his debut 125GP season could only manage to finish in 24th place after struggling to manage to learn the long Shanghai circuit.

Rounding off the front row for tomorrow’s race will be Nicolas Terol on his Aprilia, Derbi rider Mike di Meglio and Gabor Talmacsi.

Danny Webb quickly improved on yesterday’s time on only his second flying lap to record a 2:13.812. He remained ninth though.

Smith, who was fastest in the second free practice this morning with a 2'12.583, put himself at the top of the timesheets on his fourth lap, which was enough to secure provisional pole with a 2:12.742.

With under eight minutes remaining, Danny Webb shot his Aprilia up to sixth position for today and seventh on the grid with a 2:13.335.

And just seconds later Bradley Smith extended his advantage at the front of the grid to post a 2:12.364. And with his fellow Brits improving, Scott Redding didn’t want to be outdone and put himself back up to 23rd overall by improving on yesterday’s first qualifying time for the first time with a 2:15.655.

Mike Di Meglio was the man putting the pressure on Smith in second place, while yesterday’s provisional pole man Stefan Bradl was down in seventh on his Aprilia.

Jules Cluzel crashed out of the session, just millimetres in front of another motorcycle, but De Rosa wasn’t as lucky and also finished up on the tarmac in the incident right at the end of the session.

And Pablo Nieto was also finished the session on the tarmac, but the moment belonged to 17-year-old Smith.

Championship leader Simone Corsii will only start from 11th place and the third row on his Aprilia after failing to improve on his best time of 2:13.404 from Friday.

China 125GP qualifying results (top 12):

1 B. SMITH GBR Polaris World 2'12.364
2 N. TEROL SPA Jack & Jones WRB + 0.028
3 M. DI MEGLIO FRA Ajo Motorsport + 0.541
4 G. TALMACSI HUN Bancaja Aspar Team + 0.648
5 A. IANNONE ITA I.C. Team + 0.783
6 J. OLIVE SPA Belson Derbi + 0.785
7 P. ESPARGARO SPA Belson Derbi + 0.809
8 S. BRADL GER Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing + 0.820
9 S. GADEA SPA Bancaja Aspar Team + 0.898
10 D. WEBB GBR Degraaf Grand Prix + 0.971
11 S. CORTESE GER Emmi - Caffe Latte + 1.072
12 S. CORSI ITA Jack & Jones WRB + 1.189

24 S REDDING GBR Blusens Aprilia Junior + 2.728

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Sarah Carnell

By Sarah Carnell