The Brit is back on top, looking to end a frustrating run of finishes as he starts from the front in Germany.
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Sam Lowes claimed Moto2™ pole position at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland by a solid, 0.272-second margin. In scorching conditions at the Sachsenring, the Briton went as quick as a 1:23.493 to give himself the best possible chance of ending a run of six rounds in a row without points. The GASGAS Aspar Team’s Albert Arenas got a first intermediate class front row in second, and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez grabbed third on the grid. World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) made Row 3, despite a trip through Q1.
Arenas was quickest out of the blocks in Q2 when he set a 1:23.765 and that was still best until, just after the 10-minute mark, Lowes jumped from eighth position to first with a time that was less than a tenth away from Raul Fernandez’s year-old All Time Lap Record. Augusto Fernandez, who had been rapid in Friday practice and top three in FP3, then claimed third spot with a 1:23.825.
It was Britons first and fourth, and GASGAS Aspar second and fourth, thanks to Jake Dixon. He was quickest of those who came from Q1 with a 1:23.897 on his first flying lap in Q2, while German Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) qualified fifth-fastest for his home event on a 1:23.913. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) is looking to go one better than he did a fortnight ago to finally get that maiden Moto2™ race win, and sixth is a solid place to launch from after the Spaniard set a 1:23.973. Next on the timesheet was Q1 graduate Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) on a 1:24.091, ahead of fellow Q1-tripper Vietti.
Behind the points leader, Americans Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) complete the top 10, ahead of Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up), and his teammate Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up). Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was 0.825 seconds off the pace in 14th, while teammate Somkiat Chantra is set to start from 21st after failing to get out of Q1.
Will it be a first win of the season for Lowes, a first of his intermediate class career for Canet, a second in a row for Vietti, or something completely different? Another unpredictable Moto2™ race gets underway on Sunday at 12:20 (GMT +2)!
Moto2™ FRONT ROW
1 Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – Kalex – 1’23.493
2 Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team) – Kalex – +0.272
3 Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – Kalex – +0.332
Sam Lowes: “I’ve been working hard, my qualifying’s not been that bad – I’ve had a few front rows this year. Obviously, we’re in a difficult run on the Sunday so that’ll be the main thing tomorrow, just to bring some points home. But, we’re trying, we’re knuckling down, I’m still doing the job, working harder than ever, trying to improve some stuff, and I’ve made a few mistakes – I’ll admit that – but also I’ve been unlucky. I’ve had three or four times which have been out of my control – normally you get one or two a season, but we’ve had a couple in a row. It knocks your momentum, it knocks your confidence, and then everything seems harder work, but we’ve knuckled down, I’ve got a good group of people around me, and a great team.”
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