Michele Pirro will start from his first ever Moto2 pole position in tomorrow's Valencian Grand Prix after a timely rain shower effectively brought the session to an early end. After a terrible fortnight which saw the loss of their MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, the unpredictable weather gave Gresini Racing something to smile about with Yuki Takahashi securing a 1-2 on the grid.
There was only time for ten minutes of dry running and the riders were clearly aware of the looming clouds as they all poured onto the race track immediately. Pirro took provisional pole straight away with a 1:38.558 before improving to a 1:37.516 second time around. Along with the Italian, Dominique Aegerter and Xavier Simeon got up to speed quickly and placed themselves on the front row five minutes in.
Takahashi clocked a 1:37.840 to go second while Simeon kept up his impressive pace to move back ahead of Aegerter into third but while they were disputing a place on the front row, Pirro extended his lead with a 1:37.067.
Fresh from being crowned the new Moto2 World Champion, Stefan Bradl was riding without the pressure which was weighed heavily on his shoulders throughout the summer. The German moved up to third, seconds before Takahashi consolidated second with a 1:37.076.
As the ten-minute mark approached, Mika Kallio jumped up to third while Thomas Luthi slotted in behind Bradl in fifth. Both seemed to have timed their flying laps to perfection as the heavens opened, handing Gresini their dream result, a 1-2 finish in their first Moto2 qualifying session since the loss of Simoncelli, and Pirro added in the post-session press conference that “maybe Marco gave us some power!”
Kallio will start third while Bradl will lead the second row. With the final half an hour effectively a non-event, the new champion sportingly entered the CatalunyaCaixa Repsol garage to shake hands with the injured Marc Marquez and his team who reciprocated with a round of applause for the German.
Bradl will have Alex de Angelis alongside on the second row while Thomas Luthi followed up his Malaysian GP win with sixth on the grid. Aegerter and Simeon's hopes of a front row start were dashed, instead they will start seventh and eighth with Mike Di Meglio next to them on the third row.
British duo Bradley Smith and Scott Redding didn't enjoy the best of luck with the weather and will have to make their way through the field from 12th and 14th respectively while Andrea Iannone will be forced to come from even further back. The Italian will start down in 25th.