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16 hours ago
By motogp.com

Smokin' Joe Roberts raises the stakes in Moto2™ Q2

The American's brilliant Saturday continued but Championship rivals Marini and Bastianini start from the second and third row respectively

Joe Roberts’ (Tennor American Racing) brilliant Saturday continued as he claimed pole position after some late heroics in Moto2™ Q2 at the SHARK Helmets French Grand Prix with a 1:36.256.

Smokin’ Joe’s last lap was just shy of an outright lap record but it was enough to knock Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) off of P1 with the Briton less than a tenth off the pace, and Remy Gardner’s (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) final lap sees him complete the front row, as the Australian was just six hundredths behind Lowes.

Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was the early pacesetter and went P1 before going in unsettled to Turn 3, which saw him slide into the gravel with more than seven minutes left of Q2. However, his early time attack was enough to see him head up the second row but the same luck didn’t befall Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) as he followed his compatriot into the gravel at the same turn just moments later, but he will line up 18th on the grid.

SKY Team Racing VR46 pair Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini complete the Top 6, with a Lazarus like performance from Championship leader Marini seeing him defy the odds to sneak into the second row despite being in a hospital bed on Friday night.

His closest Championship rival Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) fought his way through Q1 but couldn’t crack the front two rows and will begin from the back of the third, with ground to make up in Sunday’s Grand Prix to keep the pressure on his fellow Italian.

Teammates Xavi Vierge and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) complete the third row, with both riders still seeking a podium finish this season, while Thomas Luthi (Liqui Moly Intact), Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2), and Fabio DiGiannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) were the other riders who made it through Q1, but none could break into the Top 10.

Top 10:
 1. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) – 1:36.256
 2. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.087
 3. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) + 0.193
 4. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.266
 5. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.321
 6. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.412
 7. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.481
 8. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.570
 9. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.584
 10. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) + 0.621

Make sure to tune in tomorrow from 10:00 in the morning for the beginning of the Moto2™ action.  

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