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21 days ago

Raul Fernandez beats Gardner for sixth pole of 2021

It’s a Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2 as the teammates and title rivals get set to go head-to-head in Texas on Sunday; Beaubier claims season-best 5th

Raul Fernandez came out on top in another Red Bull KTM Ajo qualifying duel at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas as the top two in the World Championship lineup P1 and P2 on the grid for Sunday’s race. Title race leader Gardner was 0.320s off Fernandez’ 2:08.979, as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) earned a first front row start since the German GP.

Raul Fernandez vs Gardner – a familiar 2021 tale

Di Giannantonio topped the early stages of Moto2™ Q2 but with just over five minutes to go, Gardner propelled himself to P1, beating Diggia’s lap by 0.063s. Raul Fernandez was third and 0.2s down on his title rival after his opening efforts, with Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) and home hero Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) inside the provisional top five.

With four minutes left, Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) crashed unhurt while down in P15, as eyes turned to Raul Fernandez. The Spaniard was 0.029s under Gardner’s time at the second split, and then a staggering 0.3s faster than his teammate through Sector 3. Sure enough, it was destination P1 for Raul Fernandez on his final flying lap, a scorching time that secured pole at COTA.

The top 10

Bezzecchi and Beaubier held station in the latter stages to claim P4 and P5 in Texas, the American picking up his best Moto2™ qualifying result – less than two tenths away from a front row. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) will start from the outside of Row 2 in P6.

Rookie Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) picks up his best Q2 result since the Italian GP, the Italian will launch from P7 ahead of fellow rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Albert Arenas (Inde Aspar Team) in ninth and Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) in 10th makes it six rookies inside the top 10 in Moto2™ qualifying – phenomenal from the lesser experienced riders in the intermediate class.

Raul Fernandez vs Remy Gardner – a Sunday showdown between the teammates and title rivals awaits in Texas, but who will come out on top? And can Beaubier claim a dream home GP podium? Find out when the Moto2™ race kicks off at 12:20 local time (GMT-5).

Top 10:
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 2:08.979
2. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.320
3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.478
4. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.578
5. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) + 0.605
6. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.659
7. Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.766
8. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.824
9. Albert Arenas (Inde Aspar Team) + 0.846
10. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.850

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