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13 days ago
By motogp.com

Raul Fernandez fires to seventh 2021 pole, Gardner 2nd

The stage is set for the first Moto2™ match point Sunday between the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo

Pole position for Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo). We’re getting used to saying that in 2021 and at the Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve, the rookie sensation bagged his seventh Saturday P1 of the season to beat title rival Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by 0.269s with a new lap record. Fernandez’ 1:42.101 was untouchable in Q2, as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) earned P3.

Magnificent seven for Raul Fernandez

Raul Fernandez was the fastest rider out the blocks in Q2 and straight away, the Spaniard set a new lap record. A 1:42.394 put the rookie sensation nearly a second clear of anyone else, before Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) cut it down to 0.222s. Meanwhile, Gardner pitted while down in P16, 2.7s off the pace – the Aussie had an issue with his rear tyre.

With five minutes to go, Raul Fernandez led Aron Canet (QuieroCorredor Aspar Team) by 0.176s, but any hope of the latter going one better vanished when Canet crashed at Turn 13 – rider ok. Soon after, Raul Fernandez set another lap record to stretch his lead to 0.405s, Gardner moved up to P8 on his first flying lap. On his next lap, Gardner propelled himself into P2, 0.335s off teammate Fernandez.

Another personal best lap for Gardner wasn’t enough to see him topple his teammate, but P2 was a very good salvage job from the World Championship leader. The title-chasing duo will launch from P1 and P2 in Portimao, it couldn’t be set up better.

How the top 10 looks

Despite his crash, Canet will start from P4 after missing out on the front row by just 0.005s. Augusto Fernandez slipped to P5, the Spaniard has Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) for company in P6. Third in the Championship Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) spearheads Row 3 alongside Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). Jorge Navarro (Termozeta Speed Up) completed the top 10.

Match point Sunday awaits

Remy Gardner vs Raul Fernandez. 18 points separate the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo, and it’s match point to Gardner on Sunday. Can polesitter Fernandez take the scintillating Moto2™ title race to the final round in Valencia? Find out at 14:30 local time (GMT+0) – the final race of the day.

Top 10:
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – 1:42.101
2. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.269
3. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.405
4. Aron Canet (QuieroCorredor Aspar Team) + 0.410
5. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.515
6. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) + 0.519
7. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.596
8. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.600
9. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.682
10. Jorge Navarro (Termozeta Speed Up) + 0.721

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