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Zarco celebrates Moto2™ title with pole

Zarco celebrates Moto2™ title with pole

Freshly crowned Moto2™ champion Johann Zarco takes his seventh pole of the season ahead of Thomas Luthi and Jonas Folger.

Ajo Motorsport’s Zarco set the fastest ever lap by a Moto2™ bike around the Twin Ring Motegi, a 1’50.339, shaving over half a second off Tito Rabat’s 2014 Pole Record (1’50.854). The Frenchman managed to set this time despite cooler conditions on Saturday afternoon (Track temp. 23˚C) to finish 0.171s ahead of Derendinger Racing Interwetten Thomas Luthi. It was Luthi’s first front row start since Argentina.

AGR Team’s Jonas Folger (+0.577s) was a further 0.406s back from Luthi as he completed the front row in his best Qualifying performance since the Catalan GP. Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes (+0.614s) heads up the second row in fourth. The British rider managed to set the exact same time as Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Alex Rins (5th), but starts ahead of the Spaniard due to his next best lap. Rins missed out on the front row for the first time in six races.

Petronas Raceline Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin equalled his best Qualifying performance of the season and will start from the back of the second row in sixth, but was 0.947s off the pace of Zarco.

Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Takaaki Nakagami will start from seventh at his home grand prix ahead of Axel Pons (AGR Team), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing) who completed the top ten.

Reigning Moto2™ World Champion Tito Rabat is sitting out the rest of the weekend after being declared unfit at the end of FP1 with his broken left radius, hence why Zarco was crowned champion on Friday.

Check out the full Moto2™ Qualifying results; the 23-lap starts at 12:20 local time in Motegi on Sunday.

Moto2, 2015, MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, QP, Thomas Luthi, Johann Zarco, Jonas Folger, Ajo Motorsport

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