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15 days ago
By motogp.com

Zarco takes last minute pole from Lowes and Marquez

Reigning champion fights off competition in a three-way fight for a P1 start

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Highlights: Zarco breaks lap record on way to pole

Intermediate class title defender Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) has taken pole position for the Moto2™ race in the Czech GP, as the Frenchman took the top spot on his final lap in a session interrupted by a red flag. Just behind the points leader in the middle of the front row will be Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), ahead of Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), who put in a stunning session to take P3 and his first front row.

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Zarco: "I was lucky with the red flag"

Ajo Motorsport rider Johann Zarco eventually topped the three-way duel for pole, as the Frenchman left it to a last dash over the line to steal the pole position from championship contender Lowes – seconds after the Brit had taken the honours from Alex Marquez. Zarco became the most successful French rider last time out in Austria, and looks set to contend for another piece of history in Brno.

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Lowes: "Nice to be back at the front"

Sam Lowes also took a provisional pole in the session on his final lap, and was just pipped to the post by Zarco – around a second after taking the position. Lowes, who has had a more difficult weekend than many expected, got right back on form in the session for another front row start.

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Marquez: “Our pace is really good”

Alex Marquez was the leader for the majority of the session, as the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider built on a fantastic weekend so far in Brno to look set for his first pole position. Marquez, who put in a stunning performance to sit more than a tenth clear at the top until the red flag paused the session, took his first trip to parc ferme in Moto2™ with his best ever qualifying: the best position the Spaniard has enjoyed since the Moto3™ race in Valencia 2014 – the day he won the Moto3™ world championship.

Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) was the faller ahead of the red flag, as the Swiss rider suffered a highside crash at Turn 9. Luthi was conscious and has been transported to hospital for further checks, but his previous time keeps him in P5 on the timesheets.

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) just beat Luthi’s laptime to P4, with second Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli slotting into P6. Championship contender Alex Rins showed an incredible leap in pace in qualifying to move up from well down the field to a solid P7, with Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) just behind him in P8. Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and rookie Miguel Oliveira (Leopard Racing) completed the top ten, after a penalty for Oliveira’s teammate Danny Kent.

Moto2™ take to the track on Sunday at 12:20 local time (GMT+2) for another spectacular battle.

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#CzechGP: Moto2™ Qualifying Practice