Pol Espargaro secured a crucial pole position for his Moto2 championship hopes with a blistering late lap to deny his teammate Esteve Rabat. Espargaro trails Scott Redding by 38 points in the title race but with the Briton starting back in fifth, Pol heads into tomorrow’s race with a serious opportunity to close the gap.
In truth, Redding was never a contender for pole position as the two Pons Tuenti teammates did battle with Takaaki Nakagami and Thomas Luthi. The Swiss rider put his Interwetten Suter on top early on with a 1:38.189 but Espargaro took over with half an hour remaining, taking his Kalex into the 1:37s. Rabat would follow suit shortly afterwards but the Pons 1-2 would be broken twelve minutes from time when Nakagami snatched provisional pole, lowering the benchmark time to a 1:37.756.
That would be Nakagami’s quickest lap of the afternoon but the Pons duo still had plenty to offer and Rabat sneaked in front of the Japanese rider seven minutes from time, going six thousandths of a second faster. Improvements were hard to come by but Espargaro’s step forward proved to be the telling one as the Spaniard snatched pole by 0.032s from his teammate.
Nakagami will start from the outside of the front row while Luthi lines up fourth despite only missing pole by a tenth of a second. Scott Redding was four tenths of a second adrift of the leading quartet and appeared frustrated throughout at riders looking for a tow but the Marc VDS rider will still fancy his chances of challenging those ahead of him.
Xavier Simeon completes row two with Johann Zarco seventh ahead of Julian Simon, Marcel Schrotter and Dominique Aegerter while Danny Kent’s upturn in results continued with thirteenth. Gino Rea also performed well to take 20th place on his FTR, putting him well placed for points tomorrow.