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Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) stormed to Moto2™ pole position at the VisitQatar Grand Prix after setting the best time of 1:58.585 on his sixth flying lap to beat Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.146, with Free Practice’s fastest man Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) completing the front row.
It was the first time the intermediate class had taken part in a Q1, Q2 format and it was Schrötter who set the early pace. The German was tucked in behind ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team teammates Tetsuta Nagashima and Remy Gardner, with the latter exchanging fastest laps with Schrötter throughout the session.
And it was the German who would seal his first Grand Prix pole position with his sixth flying lap after looking incredibly consistent for the entirety, a time good enough to beat his old teammate Vierge by 0.146, with Baldassarri jumping up the timesheets in the latter stages to grab a front row start – the Italian 0.199 from pole.
After progressing from Q1, Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) put in a good shift in Q2 to head the second row in fourth. But it could have been better if it wasn't for the Italian crashing at Turn 2 with just over two minutes to go. Nevertheless, Marini heads fifth place Gardner, with Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) settling for sixth after threatening pole position throughout the 15 minutes – 0.260 is the gap to pole for the British rider.
Moto2™ Q2 in Qatar: 14 + 4 fight for the pole
Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) will line up seventh on his first start since returning to the Moto2™ class, the Swiss rider 0.419 off his teammate's pole lap, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) joining Lüthi on the third row in P8. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) will lineup ninth for the opening race of the year, with fellow Spaniard Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) completing the top ten.
Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed during FP2, rider ok, he will start P11 as the leading rookie, with Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) rounding out the first four rows of the grid.
An action-packed first Q1 and Q2 of the year also saw Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) only get four flying laps in the second qualifying session. The Spaniard, who seem to run out of fuel at the end of Q1, benefited from Fabio Di Giannantonio (+Ego Speed Up) exceeding track limits on his final run, a lap that would have seen the Italian rookie qualify for Q2 - Lecuona will lineup 16th.
A cracking qualifying in Qatar sets us up nicely for the first Moto2™ race of the new Triumph era. Who will take victory? Find out when the intermediate class go racing at 18:20 local time (GMT+3) on Sunday.
1. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) – 1.58.585
2. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) - +0.146
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri - (FlexBox HP40) - +0.199
4. Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) - +0.219
5. Remy Gardner - (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) - +0.234
6. Sam Lowes - (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) - +0.260
7. Tom Lüthi - (Dynavolt Intact GP) - +0.419
8. Brad Binder - (Red Bull KTM Ajo) - +0.453
9. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) - +0.477
10. Augusto Fernandez - (FlexBox HP 40) - +0.628
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