Lowes Storms To First Moto2 Pole in Qatar

Sam Lowes delivered on his free practice promise by claiming the first pole position of his Moto2 career in Qatar. The Briton had been fastest in every session of the weekend prior to qualifying and despite a crash late in the evening, Lowes had more than enough to outpace Johann Zarco and Tito Rabat.

The theme of the weekend continued at the beginning of qualifying with Lowes and Zarco trading fastest times, the Frenchman the only rider to break the two minute barrier on the first runs. Conspicuous by his absence at the top of the leaderboard in practice was Rabat but the defending champion finally came to life at the halfway stage, snatching provisional pole on a 1:59.874.

Lowes’ response was instant and emphatic with the Speed Up rider kicking off his second run with a 1:59.680, following that up soon afterwards by knocking another two tenths off the target time. With a four tenth advantage, pole position was virtually secured but that didn’t stop him giving his Italian team a nerve-racking end to the session after a crash at turn four on his last run.

The error didn’t matter with Rabat failing to improve but Zarco did make late inroads to regain second with Tito set to start his title defence from the outside of the front row. Sandro Cortese will head the second row ahead of fellow countryman Jonas Folger with Xavier Simeon alongside the German pair in sixth.

Thomas Luthi will start seventh ahead of Franco Morbidelli while Alex Rins will be the highest placed rookie on tomorrow’s grid in ninth. Former teammate and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez also impressed to qualify thirteenth but Mika Kallio and Dominique Aegerter, two of the most experienced riders in the class, had disastrous evenings and will line up 16th and 25th respectively.


Moto2 Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar: Qualifying Classification

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
122. Sam LowesSpeed UpSpeed Up Racing1:59.423
25. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport1:59.755
31. Esteve RabatKalexEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS1:59.813
411. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:59.845
594. Jonas FolgerKalexAGR Team1:59.938
619. Xavier SimeonKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto22:00.232
712. Thomas LuthiKalexDerendinger Racing Interwetten2:00.284
821. Franco MorbidelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team2:00.396
940. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 402:00.479
103. Simone CorsiKalexForward Racing2:00.584
1149. Axel PonsKalexAGR Team2:00.593
1273. Alex MarquezKalexEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS2:00.604
1396. Louis RossiTech 3Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto22:00.605
1488. Ricard CardusTech 3Tech 32:00.713
1539. Luis SalomKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 402:00.791
1636. Mika KallioKalexItaltrans Racing Team2:00.844
1723. Marcel SchrotterTech 3Tech 32:00.948
1830. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia2:00.985
1955. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia2:01.000
207. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Racing2:01.030
2160. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team2:01.112
2295. Anthony WestSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team2:01.267
2325. Azlan ShahKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia2:01.397
244. Randy KrummenacherKalexJIR Moto22:01.465
2577. Dominique AegerterKalexTechnomag Racing Interwetten2:02.055
2610. Thitipong WarokornKalexAPH PTT The Pizza SAG2:02.589
2751. Zaqhwan ZaidiSuterJPM Malaysia2:02.817
2870. Robin MulhauserKalexTechnomag Racing Interwetten2:03.052
292. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG2:03.483
3066. Florian AltSuterOcto IodaRacing Team2:03.486