Antonelli holds on to Moto3 top spot

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Niccolo Antonelli has held onto the top spot at Qatar on the final day of the 2016 Moto3 pre-season, leaving Losail with a 0.217 advantage over fellow Honda rider Livio Loi.

Loi was a further 0.057 ahead of Fabio Quartararo at the end of the three days, after a frantic final session saw the leading trio put in a series of final laps.

Interestingly, KTM, who struggled with top speed against the Hondas in the latter stages of 2015, were equally represented with the Japanese manufacturer in the final standings, with Quartararo joined by Brad Binder in fifth, rookie sensation Nicolo Bulega in sixth, and Fenati, Mir in Ottel in eighth to tenth.

The Estrella Galicia 0.0 duo of Jorge Navarro in fourth and Aron Canet in seventh balanced out the top ten for Honda.

Scotsman John McPhee was a distant 30th, struggling with the Saxoprint Peugeot but finally identifying their issues only in the final stages of the test.

Riders were able to make the most of today’s early session, ran in daylight and with hot track temperatures, to test Dunlop’s new hardest compound tyre in preparation for the second round of the series in Argentina early next month.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer