The Brit heads the grid and hits some milestones, ahead of Gardner and Raul Fernandez on Saturday
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) has quite a record at MotorLand, and the Brit added a little more to it in the Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon. Taking pole position by 0.279 makes it the fourth time he’s taken the honour at the track, the most anyone in Moto2™ has managed at a single venue, and last year when he did it twice, he won twice. He’s also equalled 2014 Moto2™ Champion Tito Rabat as they now share the most poles in the class: 16. But there’s another record-breaker on the front row in the form of Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who starts second, with his key rival and rookie sensation teammate Raul Fernandez set to line up P3.
Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP40) was the rider in charge of the timesheets, with the Spaniard giving a preview of his later speed to top the session by 0.151 and move through. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) joined him first, with a very closely-matched duo just behind as Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) pipped Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) by just 0.020, although both moved through.
Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) missed out by the tiny margin of 0.067, with the gaps between third and tenth in the session all well below a tenth.
Under the blazing afternoon sun, there was an early rush for the top and Lowes was the man to beat from almost the off. Well, six minutes in, with the Brit taking over on provisional pole on his third lap and leaving the rest to try and challenge.
Gardner left everything on the line on his fastest effort, the Aussie giving it some gas to try and take over but it wasn’t quite enough. He slotted into second, with Raul Fernandez last to make his mark. Having already put in a stunning couple of sectors before catching the rider ahead earlier in the session, the number 25 couldn’t quite stay in touch with pole or his teammate on his final charge but slotted into third for a front row.
Lowes heads into familiar turf from pole at MotorLand, but Gardner and Raul Fernandez alongside will want to make life difficult from the off. Heading up Row 2 is Garzo as he took his best qualifying result of the year, with Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) just behind him. Locking out the second row is reigning Moto3™ World Champion Albert Arenas (Kipin Energy Aspar Team) as he took a best yet in the intermediate class of P6, and that means there are three rookies in the top six.
Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) was close in seventh, with a bigger gap on the timesheets them back to Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) as the Italian takes P8, 0.190 off Navarro. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46), meanwhile, lurks just 0.004 off his compatriot as slots into ninth – the number 72 looking to move forward quickly.
Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) completes the top ten ahead of Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team), with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) another looking to made some serious headway on Sunday after a more difficult qualifying.
Lowes is primed to continue his incredible form at MotorLand, so can the 22 get back on the top step? Or will Gardner go the distance? And what about Raul Fernandez, despite surgery, and his fellow rookies waiting in the wings? Find out from 12:20 (GMT +2) as Moto2™ take on MotorLand!
Moto2™ front row:
1 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – 1:51.778
2 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.279
3 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.306
Sam Lowes: “This weekend we have quite a soft rear tyre so I knew the first one or two laps would be the best, performance wise, and I knew I couldn’t improve after that so I came into the box. I thought 51.6, 51.7 could be pole, after this morning when I did a 52.0 with a full tank, so with a bit hotter track I thought something like that. But I felt good, I’m happy with the way the bike is working, I was happy with the pace this morning and we can be confident for tomorrow.”
For more Moto2 info checkout our dedicated Moto2 News page
Or visit the official MotoGP website motogp.com
SBN Directory – add your motorcycle related business here
If you would like to receive our headlines daily to your email inbox then sign up to our newsletter: Here
Subscribe to our news channels: Here