Moto2/3 to adopt MotoGP qualifying format

The Grand Prix Commission has confirmed the Moto2 and Moto3 classes will adopt a split qualifying format similar to that used in MotoGP for 2019. 

Currently, qualifying for Moto2 and Moto3 is just a traditional single session lasting 45 and 40 minutes, with free practice having no bearing on entry to qualifying unlike in MotoGP, which has run a shootout-style split format since 2013. 

However, more often than not, Moto2 pole is decided in the opening moments of the session, while the Moto3 segment has become dangerous on certain occasions with the vast number of riders loitering on track waiting for a tow. 

In a bid to eradicate these issues, the GPC has confirmed a MotoGP-style qualifying will adopted by both series, whereby two 15-minute sessions will be held. 

Unlike in MotoGP when only the fastest two from Q1 progress, the fastest four will move into Q2 to join the 14 who have made direct passage based on the combined times at the end of FP3. 

A statement read: “After discussion with teams and reviewing the current situation in Moto3, with many riders waiting and riding slowly and considering the experience in Moto2 at various races where the fastest times have been set at the beginning of the Qualifying Practice, it has been decided to change to a qualifying format similar to that of the MotoGP class. 

“It is expected that this system will also bring a more entertaining format for the fans as well as preparing the young riders for the same system of classification as the premier class. 

“This will also make for a homogeneous qualifying format across all Grand Prix classes. Riders in Moto2 and Moto3, will continue to have three Free Practice sessions. 

“The fastest 14 riders from the combined standings will qualify directly for Qualifying 2. The other riders will compete in Qualifying 1 and the four fastest riders will join the other 14 in Qualifying 2.”

Practice sessions for Moto2 will now also be reduced by five minutes to join Moto3 on 40, with the Friday schedule in the afternoon pushed back by five minutes. 

The statement also confirms there will be no change to Sunday's schedule, amidst talk Moto2 could be moved to after the MotoGP event from next year.