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Lowes cruises to pole as rivals stumble

Lowes cruises to pole as rivals stumble

Back to his best, Sam Lowes continued his love affair with Mugello as he took pole from Nakagami and Baldassarri.

Conditions continued to heat up in Mugello as the sun beat down, the track temperature rising to over 47 °C. Higher track temperatures can often lead to slower times but the Mugello circuit proved to have ample grip, Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) dropping into the 1’51s before too long.

Behind Lowes his championship rivals struggled to match his pace, being just 0.4s slower easily seeing a rider outside the top ten. Alex Rins’ (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) session got even worse as he fell at the end of the session at Turn 2. Unchallenged, Lowes danced to his third pole position of the season with a 1’51.965, the only 1’51s of the session. Lowes is yet to start outside the top two in Mugello. His time came on the harder option tyre, the one he will use in the race, as he never felt comfortable with the softer one.

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was second and will start on the front row for the first time since the Qatar GP way back in 2014. This season has seen the Japanese rider on the cusp of challenging for the podium on multiple occasions, a front row start could be the final piece of the puzzle.

Meanwhile Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) took his first front row start in the World Championship. The Italian had been scheduled to start on the front row in Le Mans but a technical infringement saw his time removed, no such issues in Mugello on Saturday.

It proved to be a great day in the sun for the AGR Team as Axel Pons took fourth ahead of teammate Marcel Schrotter. Pons was 0.003s from a front row start, the Moto2™ World Championship getting closer with each race weekend. Expect both riders to be aggressive at the start of the race on Sunday.

Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport), Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and Luca Marini (Forward Team) formed the top ten. Moto2™ proved to be the tightest class of all three championships, a second between the top 20 riders.

Ratthapark Wilairot’s (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) Qualifying didn’t start well as he crashed at Turn 3. Meanwhile Corsi’s session ended early at he tumbled at Turn 4 with two minutes to go.

The 21-lap Moto2™ race is scheduled to begin at 12:20 Local Time on Sunday.

Full times and standings from the session can be seen here.

Moto2, 2016, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, QP, Sam Lowes, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2

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