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1 day ago
By motogp.com

Masterful Marquez edges out Lowes in QP

The Spaniard was in magnificent form - and the top 17 are covered by a second

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was on fine form in Moto2™ qualifying at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, taking his second pole position of the season on board his Kalex machine, with the former lightweight class World Champion over three tenths clear for the majority of the session. Only second place qualifier Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) was able to get ahead of Marquez at any point during the session, however, the number 73 then came out for his final run to beat Lowes’ 2:10.744 by 0.156 seconds.

Lowes returns to Moto2™ this year from the premier class, and starts on the front row for the first time since Phillip Island 2016 – can the Brit repeat his 2015 win at the Circuit of the Americas, his first GP victory? World Championship leader Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was the only other man to get under the 2:11.000 bracket, his time of 2:10.993 on his final run was enough for him to grab third on the grid. Qatar race winner and SKY Racing Team VR46 rider Francesco Bagnaia will start from fourth on the grid, the Italian consistently in the top six throughout the session and looked set to join the front row on his final lap until a small mistake cost him.

The fastest rookie yet again was reigning Moto3™ World Champion Joan Mir, who claimed fifth place on the grid – his best Moto2™ qualifying by 12 places. Rounding out the second row was the impressive Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46), his sixth place is also his best qualifying of the year so far.

Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP), fresh from his Argentina podium, spearheads the third row of the grid in seventh, with his teammate Marcel Schrötter a slender 0.019 behind him in eighth. Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up Racing) was able to get himself into the top ten late on, he’ll start ninth ahead of Isaac Viñales (SAG Team) in tenth.

Friday’s quickest man Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had to settle for P12 after a more difficult session.

Tune in for the Moto2™ race at the COTA on Sunday, with the lights going out at 12:20 local time (GMT -5).

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