Simone Corsi sprung a surprise by securing pole position for the Aragon Grand Prix, the first of his Moto2 career. The Italian took advantage of the disrupted build-up to beat Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone to pole with runaway championship leader Marc Marquez having his worst qualifying session of the season.

Marquez didn’t seem to be finding life particularly difficult early on as he stormed into a half second lead with everybody else swapping second place behind him. Thomas Luthi wasn’t in the mix though as the Swiss rider crashed at turn one while Alex De Angelis also damaged his chances along with his machinery, the second time he’d fallen in the space of 24 hours.

With fifteen minutes to go, Marquez’s grip on pole was finally loosened as Iannone took over, only to be beaten himself by Jordi Torres who was in inspired form on the Mapfre Aspar Suter. With so little dry preparation, several unfamiliar names fancied their chances of a pole position and Claudio Corti was the next to go fastest with 1:54.712 the new target time.

The crashes continued down at turns one and two with wildcard rider Alex Marinelarena and Technomag-CIP replacement Tomoyoshi Koyama tumbling through the gravel trap but Pol Espargaro restored normality to proceedings with a 1:54.618 for provisional pole. Iannone briefly nosed in front a second blistering lap from Espargaro gave him the lead when the chequered flag came out, but Corsi came from nowhere to grab pole, almost two tenths clear.

Espargaro and Iannone will be targeting victory from the front row while Claudio Corti and Jordi Torres both start in lofty positions in fourth and fifth. Reigning 125cc champion Nicolas Terol enjoyed his best Moto2 qualifying session to date, finishing sixth. After dominating early on, Marc Marquez tumbled to seventh but looked on course to improve on his last lap, only to run wide onto the astroturf, blowing the end of the lap. As a result, he will line-up seventh with British duo Bradley Smith and Scott Redding alongside on row three. Gino Rea will start 22nd on the Gresini Suter, four places ahead of teammate Ratthapark Wilairot who crashed twice.