Marc Marquez will start tomorrow's Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix from pole position after dominating the latter stages of qualifying. The championship leader only had eight hundredths of a second in hand over Takaaki Nakagami but always had an answer whenever his lead was under threat.
Nakagami led the way in the opening stages on the Italtrans Kalex before being knocked off pole at the halfway mark by teammate Claudio Corti. The Italian squad looked competitive at the pre-season test here and with qualifying being the first session all weekend to take place in the dry, it was no surprise to see them looking quick.
It was even less surprising to see Thomas Luthi join the party after his dominance through qualifying in Qatar. The Swiss rider edged ahead by a tenth of a second but as in Qatar, his chances took a blow courtesy of Marquez who pulled ahead by a quarter of a second. The Spaniard wouldn't be toppled for the rest of the session as he gradually lowered the benchmark time, eventually getting down to a 1:43.005, slightly faster than Nakagami who will start from a career-high second.
Pol Espargaro produced a late flyer to grab third, aided by a crash for Luthi as the Interwetten rider chased pole position, leaving him down in fourth. Mika Kallio was another rider who had a sniff of pole earlier on but had to make do with fifth, just ahead of fellow Kalex riders Claudio Corti and Esteve Rabat.
Mike Di Meglio's impressive start to the year continued with eighth in qualifying while Randy Krummenacher and Johann Zarco completing the top ten, the latter putting in a tremendous display on just his second ride in Moto2.
The British riders didn't enjoy their afternoon with Scott Redding the best placed of them in 12th, far below expectations after he'd looked a pole contender. Bradley Smith will also be disappointed after a crash prevented him from doing better than 19th but Gino Rea put in a solid performance to 23rd, well ahead of his more experienced teammate Ratthapark Wilairot.