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Moto2™ pole goes to Lowes in Argentina

Moto2™ pole goes to Lowes in Argentina

After a frustrating session, Sam Lowes secures pole position for the Argentina GP with Zarco and Folger joining him on the front row.

As the final session of the day, Moto2™ Qualifying took place in arguably the best conditions of the weekend as ample rubber had been laid down before hand. The session progressed steadily with Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) taking an early lead with a 1’43.589, just 0.005s faster than Jonas Folger’s (Dynavolt Intact GP) best lap from practice.

Everything seemed set in stone until the final moments of the session. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) had had a frustrating time throughout as he constantly found other riders in his path. All the tank bashing got the Brit fired up and as soon as he had clean track in front of him he flew, producing a 1’43.347. For just the fourth time in his Moto2™ World Championship career he will begin in pole position, his first pole since his home race in 2015. This is Lowes’ second front row start in 2016, having begun 2015 in a similar fashion.

Missing a repeat pole position, Zarco was a mere 0.119s behind the Brit. The Ajo Motorsport rider was not upset by missing out on pole, happy to start on the front row as he feels he has the pace to contend for victory. Throughout the weekend the Frenchman has looked strong, topping both Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 and never leaving the top five.

Completing the front row is Jonas Folger, the German out for redemption after his unforced error in Qatar. His 1’43.637 saw him within a third of a second of Lowes, the pair having a near coming together on the circuit. It has been an incredible start to the 2016 season for Folger who secured his first ever back-to-back front row starts in the intermediate class. The last time Folger had back-to-back front row starts was in 2013 in the Moto3™ class.

Forced to settle for fourth, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) had been primed to start from the front row until the final flurry of fast laps bumped him down. The Japanese rider has been much more consistent than in previous years and appears back to his best.

Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) repeats his Qatar GP Qualifying as he once again secured fifth on the grid. The hyper aggressive Italian came from 22nd to end the 2015 Argentina GP in fifth; no doubt he will be a contender come race day in 2016. Morbidelli showed in Qatar that he is capable of battling for victory, even against hyper experienced riders like Luthi.

Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Danny Kent (Leopard Racing), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) and Axel Pons (AGR Team) formed the top ten. Ninth is a great result for Baldassarri given that he was forced to miss the Qatar GP just two weeks prior due to a double shoulder dislocation.

Edgar Pons (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) has withdrawn from the weekend and the Austin GP due to contract Hepatitis A. Three weeks complete rest has been prescribed by the doctor.

Full results from the Moto2™ Qualifying session can be viewed here.

Racing in the intermediate class begins at 14:20 Local Time on Sunday the third of April.

Moto2, 2016, GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA, QP, Johann Zarco, Sam Lowes, Jonas Folger, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2, Dynavolt Intact GP, Ajo Motorsport

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