Nakagami Denies Redding Home Pole Position


Takaaki Nakagami kept up his recent good form in qualifying trim to take pole position for the British Moto2 Grand Prix. The Japanese rider moved to the top of the leaderboard thirteen minutes from the end and was never headed, although home favourite Scott Redding came agonisingly close.

Johann Zarco and Redding had been neck-and-neck in free practice, finishing a thousandth of a second apart but Nakagami immediately deposed them as the fastest rider all weekend with a 2:07.200 on just his second timed lap. It took a while for anyone to get on terms with the Italtrans Kalex as Redding slowly closed the gap but it wasn’t until the final twenty minutes that someone finally went faster.

That man was Esteve Rabat who put in a 2:07.184 while his teammate Pol Espargaro followed him over the line just three hundredths slower, slotting in behind Nakagami. Having seen his supremacy finally ended, Takaaki quickly set about regaining it and with a 2:07.039, the job of securing pole position was done.

Redding bounced back into second five minutes from time, closing to within 0.127s and despite improving on two more occasions, the forward steps weren’t big enough to take him past Nakagami. They did secure him second though with Zarco sneaking past Rabat for third while Thomas Luthi knocked Pol Espargaro all the way down to sixth. The title challenger was only 0.174s off pole on the longest lap of the year but given the closeness of the intermediate class, he could only secure a spot on the outside of row two.

Mika Kallio, fresh from his Brno victory, qualified seventh and is ideally placed to help his championship leading teammate while Dominique Aegerter and Xavier Simeon will also look to challenge from the third row. Danny Kent would have had eyes on that kind of grid position but a crash early on left his bike on fire and the rookie unable to prevent himself slipping to 27th, seven places behind Gino Rea.