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22 days ago
By motogp.com

Marini heads teammate Bezzecchi for magnificent Misano pole

The SKY Racing Team VR46 riders were in a league of their own in Moto2™ Q2, Vierge joins them on the front row

A 1:35.271 for Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) hands the Italian a second consecutive pole position of the season as he leads teammate Marco Bezzecchi by 0.036 in Moto2™ Q2 at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini. Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge completed the front row, 0.348 off pole position.

The first laps were slammed in and it was Bezzecchi who led the way from Vierge, but Marini’s second lap was absolutely incredible. Enea Bastianini’s (Italtrans Racing Team) FP3 lap record was a 1:35.649 – but that was obliterated by Marini. The Championship leader set a 1:35.271 to lay down the gauntlet, with Bezzecchi going P2, 0.195 seconds off. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) got themselves into the top four in the early stages.

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) then jumped onto the provisional front row, but the British rider was 0.4 off Marini’s scintillating time. Lowes then went quicker on his next lap to get the gap down to 0.3, but he remained P3. Meanwhile, Bezzecchi was then on a charge and was right on Marini’s pace halfway around the lap. The Moto2™ sophomore was then under his teammate’s blistering time by 0.032, but he couldn’t hold it to the line, missing out by 0.036 seconds. Just ahead of Bezzecchi was Vierge who shot onto the front row in P3, but immediately after, the Spaniard tucked the front at Turn 1 – rider ok.

Lowes was then going great guns again and was less than a tenth away at the third checkpoint. But something went wrong in the fourth split and the British rider lost four tenths, with Bezzecchi and Marini again both setting a very similar pace to pole position. None of them could maintain it to the line though, but it didn’t matter. The SKY VR46 duo were a class above in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna GP, the two Italians getting the business done on home turf once again on Saturday.

Despite his crash, Vierge kept P3 in Q2 to secure his first front row start since the 2019 Dutch GP. Lowes threatened to displace Vierge in the latter stages but couldn’t string a lap together, but Lowes will be pleased with P4 – a podium well in sight for the rider who claimed P8 from pitlane last weekend. Bastianini will be hoping to challenge the leading Italians in the opening stages, in a bid to minimise the potential damage that could be caused with Marini and Bezzecchi on song. Canet completed Row 2, the rookie sensation 0.532 from pole position, the Spaniard beat Dixon by a slender 0.011 in Q2. P7 is Dixon’s best Moto2™ qualifying result, and his first top 10 since the 2019 Czech GP.

Beta Tools Speed Up’s Fabio Di Giannantonio lines up alongside Dixon in P8, both the Italian and teammate Jorge Navarro had a positive qualifying session to claim third row starts. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completed the top 10, the Italian seven tenths shy of compatriot Marini.

Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) suffered a big crash at Turn 5 in Q2 – rider ok.

Can anyone stop the two SKY VR46 riders on Sunday? It’s looking like a difficult task, but you’ll find out at 12:20 (GMT+2)!

Top 10:
1. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) – 1:35.271
2. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.036
3. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.348
4. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.469
5. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.518
6. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) + 0.532
7. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.543
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.657
9. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.681
10. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.708

Click here for the full results!

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