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Espargaró steals pole in weather-affected Australian qualifying

Espargaró steals pole in weather-affected Australian qualifying

It was Tuenti Movil HP 40’s Pol Espargaró who took pole position for tomorrow’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island with a fantastic performance in qualifying in front of Scott Redding and Marc Márquez.

Moto2™ qualifying was a mixed affair with the occasional quick showers causing a few interruptions and making track conditions a touch unpredictable for riders. Yet Espargaró seemed to be unaffected by it as he stormed to his seventh pole-position this season with a margin of over half a second over second placed Redding on his Marc VDS Racing Team machine. The Brit is nonetheless looking in ominous form ahead of the race, having ousted Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez into third. Márquez could take the title tomorrow by finishing either first, or higher than 15th place should Espargaró win the race.

Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi, who had shown potential in earlier sessions, was able to convert it this time and put his bike fourth on the grid, ahead of Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami. Arguably one of the best performances came from GP Team Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher, who completes the second row on his return from injury. JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco in seventh was the last rider within a second of the front, ending the day ahead of Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone.

QMMF Racing’s Anthony West did well to keep his ninth spot after crashing out in the final minutes, finishing in front of Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat. In addition to West, his teammate Elena Rosell, Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis also crashed out of the session. Rosell was taken to the medical centre citing chest and hand pain, whilst De Angelis was also taken there with a suspected hand injury. He has since been declared unfit for tomorrow’s race with a fourth left finger abrasion with a tendon lesion, and a fracture in the fifth finger. The San Marino rider has gone to Epworth Hospital in Melbourne for surgery.


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