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For the fourth time in his Moto2™ career, Alex Rins grabbed pole position as Zarco and Lowes complete the front row.
The sun shone down on Qualifying for the Moto2™ World Championship, the track improving with each and every lap. Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) immediately set the pace with a 2’08.850s on just his fourth lap, over a second faster than the existing pole record. Having a rapid lap in the bank, the Spaniard then shifted his attention to making up for the time lost to rain in FP3 and tweaked his race setup.
With ten minutes remaining the red flag was brought out after Efren Vazquez (JPMoto Malaysia) fell at Turn 7. He immediately received medical attention trackside and was transported off the circuit via ambulance. The Basque rider regained consciousness while being transported to the circuit medical centre before being flown to a local hospital via helicopter.
Qualifying would resume for the final ten minutes, producing a swarm of frantic fast laps in the dying seconds of the session. But Rins’ time would go largely unchallenged, Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) improving to a 2’09.066 on his final lap. Zarco was also under the pole position record by a considerable amount but unable to dip into the 2’08s like Rins and eneded 0.216s behind pole.
2015 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas race winner Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was another to set an early benchmark lap. Like Zarco he would improve his time late in the session to secure his third palce position on the front row, eventually able to set a 2’09.100. The Brit remains astoundingly confident of his ability to remain with the front-runners, able to complete competitive times even on 20 lap old tyres.
The top three proved in Argentina that they’re able to match each other’s pace and produce thrilling racing. They’ll be out to do the same again on Sunday as both Lowes and Rins hunt their first wins of the 2016 season.
Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten) will lead the charge from the second row, the Swiss rider having had mixed fortunes since switching to Kalex machinery. Only 0.008s behind him was teammate and countryman Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) who is out to defend his championship lead.
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP), Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) made up the top ten.
All of the top eight riders were under the 2015 pole record and within half a second of Rins. Morbidelli was almost half a second behind Corsi in eighth, two clear groups emerging in Qualifying.
Full times from the session can be viewed here.
The third round of the Moto2™ World Championship begins at 12:20 Local Time on Sunday.