Title-chasing Marquez claims Sepang Moto2™ pole

EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider will lead Nagashima and Championship rival Binder from the front row

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) claimed what could prove to be a crucial Moto2™ pole position at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix thanks to a 2:05.244 in Q2. The Championship leader sits 0.151 clear of second place Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), with title chaser Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) lining up in P3.

Throughout Moto2™ Q1 and Q2, the threat of rain was in the air as the odd wet weather flag waved around the Sepang International Circuit. Thankfully, the heavens didn’t open as an incredibly important intermediate class qualifying session too place. It was the worst possible start for one of the riders who still have a mathematical chance of claiming the title though, Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) crashing at Turn 11 having not set a time. Meanwhile, Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) set the first benchmark before Marquez got going on his second flying lap.

The man leading the Championship by 28 points with two rounds remaining took provisional pole of his main title rival by a considerable 0.6 seconds, with his teammate Xavi Vierge and Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) climbing onto the provisional front row. Meanwhile, Binder had troubles on the first couple of qualifying laps and was lingering well outside the top 10, but the Free Practice pacesetter managed to launch himself into P2, before Nagashima soon jumped up to second.

Having initially been on provisional pole position, Lüthi found himself on the outer skirts of the top 10 with little time remaining. With Marquez sitting P1, the Swiss rider needed a lap to propel himself further up the grid – and that’s exactly what he did. P5 was Lüthi’s with 30 seconds remaining and that was all she wrote. Marquez claimed his sixth pole of 2019 as he eyes securing his second World Championship on Sunday. A win will do exactly that for him but Nagashima and especially Binder will have something to say about that from the front row, the South African needs to beat Marquez to stand any chance of taking the title down to the final round.

Vierge had a good showing in Q2 to qualify P4, this the Spaniard’s best Saturday result since his P3 grid slot at the Dutch GP. Lüthi has a little bit of work to do from the middle of Row 2, he also needs to beat Marquez – ideally by winning the race – in order to keep the Championship alive. Martin starts sixth eying his third consecutive Moto2™ rostrum. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) spearheads the third row in P7 with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Remy Gardner and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) completing the top 10.

An intense Moto2™ fight awaits on Sunday. Can Marquez claim the title or are we set for drama? Find out at 13:20 local time (GMT+8)!  

Top 10:
1. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 2:05.244
2. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.151
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.315
4. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.451
5. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.470
6. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.487
7. Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 0.491
8. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.548
9. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.644
10. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.694

Click here for the full results! 

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