Xavier Simeon emerged from nowhere to claim the first Moto2 pole position of his career at the Sachsenring, denying Jordi Torres the same honour in the dying seconds. The shortest lap on the Moto2 calendar provided a thrilling fight for the front positions on the grid with one second covering the top 21 riders in qualifying.
After back-to-back victories, Pol Espargaro will have fancied his chances of another pole position to turn up the heat on Scott Redding and the Spaniard moved into provisional pole on his fourth lap of the afternoon. Pol would be knocked off the top by Torres though as the Aspar rider improved to a 1:24.760 but Espargaro’s reply would trigger a gripping battle in the closing minutes.
Just six minutes remained when the Pons rider returned to the top of the leaderboard, his lap time just two thousandths under that of Torres, but Pol kept up the pace on his next lap, extending his lead to 0.047s. It seemed doubtful that such a slender lead would remain intact for the rest of the session and so it proved as Torres pipped him a minute later with a 1:24.698.
Meanwhile, Scott Redding was involved in a dogfight to salvage a respectable grid position and he seemed to have done so by climbing to third late on but a series of quick fire improvements sent him plummeting down the order. The most surprising of those improvements came from Simeon who clocked a 1:24.665 to go from eleventh to first with Torres denied despite a personal best on his last lap.
Espargaro will be the big threat from third with Thomas Luthi another danger in fourth. Simone Corsi starts fifth ahead of Italtrans duo Julian Simon and Takaaki Nakagami with Redding all the way down in eighth with his teammate Mika Kallio for company. The fact that Scott was less than three tenths from pole though merely served to emphasise how close the intermediate class is here.
Gino Rea and Danny Kent were also in the thick of the action with both putting in excellent performances to qualify 17th and 22nd respectively while Kyle Smith could only manage 29th, just under two tenths off the pace.