Scott Redding is well placed to extend his championship lead after claiming his second Moto2 pole position of the season at Mugello. The Briton proved too strong for Takaaki Nakagami as the two renewed their qualifying rivalry of recent races.
The day couldn’t have got off to a start for Redding who was involved in a spectacular crash in morning practice. The Marc VDS rider lost control at Biondetti and although he walked away uninjured, the Kalex was destroyed following a series of cartwheels through the gravel trap. The damage was such that Redding would have to take part in qualifying with a new frame on his motorcycle.
Nakagami was the quickest to get up and running with a 1:53.679 as Redding played his way in gently. The Japanese rider was looking to build on his maiden Moto2 pole in Le Mans two weeks ago and improved to a 1:53.123 immediately afterwards. This came with only eight minutes of the session gone but try as he might, Takaaki wouldn’t go any faster in the remainder of qualifying, opening the door for Redding to pinch pole.
After his cautious start, Redding eventually upped the pace and with a quarter of an hour remaining, Scott moved to the top of the timesheets with a lap just eight thousandths faster than Nakagami. The Italtrans rider responded instantly by powering back onto the race track but the fast laps kept coming from Redding who broke into the 1:52s in the closing stages, putting it beyond the reach of his rival.
Marcel Schrotter was on the pace throughout and secured a career best third on the grid for Desguaces La Torre SAG while Johann Zarco put in a last gasp flyer to qualify fourth ahead of leading Spaniards Nicolas Terol and Esteve Rabat. Xavier Simeon, fresh from his podium in Le Mans, took seventh on the grid with Alex De Angelis and Jordi Torres alongside but pre-season championship favourite Pol Espargaro continued his recent slump, qualifying down in tenth after problems with traffic.
His frustration will have been matched by the two British rookies as Danny Kent and Kyle Smith would only have 26th and 31st to show for their efforts.