Marc Garcia carried on from an excellent weekend in Austria with pole position in the Czech Republic ahead of Patrick Pulkkinen and Raúl Fernández. Just five races remain in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for 2016 and 16-year-old Spaniard Garcia lies fourth in the points table.
Ayumu Sasaki heads that table but was fifth fastest KTM RC 250 R around Brno behind Mattia Casadei and ahead of Red Bull Ring hero Aleix Viu who fell twice but without injury. "Not perfect," admitted Sasaki. "Not bad, not good," he said pensively. "I've got to think about what sprocket to run... then go out and kick their arses!"
The new Garcia
Never one to qualify well, Garcia put that right last weekend with second and has now gone one better. "Yes I am happy with that. I love this track and I have a really good sensation with the bike. We didn't change anything at all from the Red Bull Ring, it may not be perfect but I feel good on it and have a great rhythm."
"No race plan with the other guys this time. I am just going for it," Garcia grinned.
A new Pulkkinen
The 15-year-old Finn looked impressive at the Red Bull Ring and doubly so qualifying second in Brno. He was lapping well through the day but saved the best for last, touring through the pits to find free space right at the end of the session then only beating the chequered flag by two seconds to getting a final flying lap.
Jumping from seventh to second with that last lonely lap he was thrilled. "I learnt a lot today, I followed some of the other guys like Aleix Viu but then I knew I had to do it on my own, I was making a few mistakes and not putting in the perfect lap. I rode through the pits and found space, I set the dial to 'Beast' mode and went for it," he exclaimed. "We got the bike working well, I am so much happier with it than earlier in the year."
The old Fernandez
"I had a horrible weekend in Austria," admitted the 15-year-old Spaniard. "I am much happier here. It wasn't so easy, the bike wasn't right in FP1 then in FP2 I had an electrical problem and I had to swap bikes but we got a good setting and I could go for it in Qualifying. I am a lot happier here."
Casadei, the 16-year-old Italian, had his best qualifying with fourth. "I like the track, the straights in Austria hurt me and I like the track here. I've got a good rhythm, the bike isn't perfect but OK and I am looking forward to the race."
After his perfect weekend at the Red Bull Ring, 15-year-old Spaniard Viu could be excused a couple of errors and he made them on Friday. "I made the same mistake in FP2 and Qualifying, touched the kerb on the inside. Not good but I won't make the same mistake in the race and at least I managed to get back on the bike and onto the second row, that is important for the races and the Championship."
Race 1 is at 16.30 CET on Saturday with Race 2 on Sunday at 15.30. The races can be seen live on TV channels around the globe and on www.redbull.tv with the show starting 10 minutes before the race.