Bradl Claims Moto2 Pole In Qatar


Stefan Bradl proved his pre-season form was no fluke as he took pole position for the first race of the new season in Qatar.

The Qualifying session mirrored most of the weekend to date as the battle for top spot quickly became a private duel between Bradl and Marc Marquez. The 125cc World Champion was on the verge of a stunning debut in the middle class as he set a 2:00.375 with 17 minutes still to go.

That time held up until the final two minutes, when Bradl finally found the sweet spot of the Kalex machine to go 0.207 seconds faster than the Spaniard, narrowly failing to go under the two-minute barrier.

The top two had a comfortable cushion over Thomas Luthi, who rounded out the front row for Interwetten Paddock Moto2.

Yuki Takahasi continued his strong form at the Losail International Circuit by taking fourth. The Japanese rider will be joined on row two by Jules Cluzel and 2010 series runner-up Julian Simon.

One of the stars of qualifying was undoubtedly Bradley Smith. The 20 year old from Oxford produced a stunning lap in his first Moto2 qualifying session to take seventh.

The 125cc graduate will start three places ahead of fellow Brit Scott Redding. The Gloucester teenager failed to match his promising practice pace and only climbed into the top 10 in the dying seconds.

A number of the expected title contenders had problematic starts to the season. Andrea Iannone, who spent much of last year challenging for the title, will start down in 16th, while two-time World SuperSport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu could only manage 28th.

Kev Coghlan completes the British trio. He also failed to match his practice promise and will start on the eleventh row in 33rd.

Warm-up for Round One of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship takes place later this evening, with the race itself starts at 17:15 GMT on Sunday.

Pos Rider Team Lap Time Gap
1 Stefan Bradl Viessman Kiefer Racing 2:00.168  
2 Marc Marquez Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol 2:00.375 +0.207
3 Thomas Luthi Interwetten Paddock Moto2 2:00.996 +0.828
4 Yuki Takahashi Gresini Racing Moto2 2:01.179 +1.011
5 Jules Cluzel Forward Racing 2:01.408 +1.240
6 Julian Simon Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 2:01.430 +1.262
7 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Racing 2:01.442 +1.274
8 Alex de Angelis JIR Moto2 2:01.465 +1.297
9 Michele Pirro Gresini Racing Moto2 2:01.479 +1.311
10 Scott Redding Marc VDS Racing Team 2:01.564 +1.396
11 Simone Corsi Ioda Racing Project 2:01.574 +1.406
12 Max Neukirchner MZ Racing Team 2:01.741 +1.573
13 Mattia Pasini Ioda Racing Project 2:01.893 +1.725
14 Aleix Espargaro Pons HP 40 2:01.895 +1.727
15 Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP 2:01.895 +1.727
16 Andrea Iannone Speed Master 2:01.903 +1.735
17 Esteve Rabat Blusens-STX 2:02.154 +1.986
18 Claudio Corti Italtrans Racing Team 2:02.237 +2.069
19 Mike Di Meglio Tech 3 Racing 2:02.352 +2.184
20 Yonny Hernandez Blusens-STX 2:02.392 +2.224
21 Javier Fores Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 2:02.397 +2.229
22 Ricard Cardus QMMF Racing Team 2:02.505 +2.337
23 Axel Pons Pons HP 40 2:02.529 +2.361
24 Pol Espargaro HP Tuenti Speed Up 2:02.536 +2.368
25 Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team 2:02.549 +2.381
26 Valentin Debise Speed Up 2:02.828 +2.660
27 Ratthapark Wilairot Thai Honda Singha SAG 2:02.838 +2.670
28 Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP 2:02.847 +2.679
29 Randy Krummenacher GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing 2:02.897 +2.729
30 Robertino Pietri Italtrans Racing Team 2:03.151 +2.983
31 Alex Baldolini Forward Racing 2:03.246 +3.078
32 Santiago Hernandez SAG Team 2:03.264 +3.096
33 Kev Coghlan Aeroport de Castello 2:03.276 +3.108
34 Kenny Noyes Avintia-STX 2:03.461 +3.293
35 Xavier Simeon Tech 3 B 2:03.657 +3.489
36 Raffale de Rosa Desguaces La Torre G22 2:03.684 +3.516
37 Anthony West MZ Racing Team 2:04.043 +3.875
38 Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Racing Team 2:04.875 +4.707
39 Nasser Hasan Al Malki QMMF Racing Team 2:05.299 +5.131