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9 days ago
By motogp.com

Fernandez takes maiden Moto2™ pole, top six within 0.1

Spaniard leads Lüthi and Lowes in Barcelona qualifying with 0.4 covering first to 13th in the intermediate class

Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) has secured his maiden Moto2™ pole position after taking P1 in Q2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the Spaniard’s 1:44.170 saw him beat Dynavolt Intact GP’s Tom Lüthi by 0.021 with Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the front row.

The Moto2™ class has been close throughout the weekend and Q2 was no different. Provisional pole changed lap-by-lap before Fernandez was able to stick in the aforementioned time on his fourth flying lap. The red sectors weren’t going away though as the likes of Lüthi, HDR Heidrun Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro and Fabio Di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) all threatened top spot and the front row.

Heading into the final few minutes, just 0.089 separated the top four and despite the continued session and personal best sectors being set, Fernandez’ time couldn’t be matched as the riders struggled to beat their times from earlier in the 15-minute Q2 session. However, a late charge from Lowes was looming and through the third split, the British rider was on course to snatch pole from Fernandez as the chequered flag dropped. But, Lowes couldn’t quite hold it through the last sector as the number 22 rider went to P3, just 0.029 off pole and 0.008 off Lüthi in P2. This meant Fernandez would start his home GP from the number one spot on the grid, with Championship contender Lüthi earning his third front-row start in a row – the first time he’s managed that since 2012.

Lowes’ last gasp time pushed Navarro off the front row and down to fourth, the Spaniard 0.041 from pole, with his teammate Di Giannantonio getting his best Moto2™ qualifying result in fifth. Marquez was only a tenth off P1 but because of how tight the competition is in Barcelona, the home hero will have to start sixth, with title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) spearheading the third row of the grid in seventh – the Italian improving on his final flying lap to get into the top ten.

Fellow Italian Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) had a good day at the office to start P8 for Sunday’s Catalan GP, 0.319 was the gap from the rookie to pole. The two Italtrans Racing Team riders then complete the top ten in Barcelona, the more experienced Andrea Locatelli heading rookie teammate Enea Bastianini by 0.053 in ninth and tenth respectively.

Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) crashed during Q2, rider ok, the Australian will lineup 11th on board his Kalex.

What a sensational Moto2™ race we look to have in store! 0.1 splits the top six, 0.4 covers the top 13 and less than a second separates P1 to P16 – who wins the Moto2™ Catalan GP?

Find out on Sunday at 12:20 local time (GMT+2).

Top ten:
1. Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP40) - 1:44.170
2. Thomas Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.021
3. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.029
4. Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) + 0.041
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) + 0.089
6. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.100
7. Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) + 0.267
8. Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.319
9. Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.335
10. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.388

Click here for the full results!

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