Simeon Beats Lowes to Surprise Pole in Austin

Xavier Simeon sprung something of a surprise to claim pole position for the Moto2 Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin. The Belgian, who currently lies second in the championship after his podium in Qatar, emerged from nowhere to deny Sam Lowes in the closing minutes of qualifying as the Briton was forced to settle for second.

Lowes has endured a horrendous time so far with accidents blighting his weekend, not least a dramatic highside on Friday afternoon, and the Speed Up team’s nerves won’t have been eased by another spill 13 minutes into qualifying. Fortunately for them, their rider had already clocked a record breaking 2:09.942 to take provisional pole and even though he wouldn’t improve, a front row grid slot was looking assured.

As time ticked away, the competition slowly closed the half second gap with Tito Rabat climbing to second on a 2:10.077 twelve minutes from time. The world champion would be upstaged by Simeon though who first edged past the Marc VDS rider with a 2:10.010 before jumping to the front of the entire field with a 2:09.888 a minute from the end.

Lowes had no answer to the Gresini rider and had to make do with second ahead of Rabat with Johann Zarco clocking a 2:10.102 on his final attempt to secure fourth, just in front of Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami.

Julian Simon will start seventh for QMMF with Alex Rins and Dominique Aegerter for company on row three but championship leader Jonas Folger will have his work cut out to stay at the top of the standings, the German having qualified down in nineteenth.


Moto2 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas: Qualifying Classification

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
119. Xavier SimeonKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto22:09.888
222. Sam LowesSpeed UpSpeed Up Racing2:09.942
31. Esteve RabatKalexEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS2:10.077
45. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport2:10.102
521. Franco MorbidelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team2:10.135
630. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia2:10.190
760. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team2:10.261
840. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 402:10.488
977. Dominique AegerterKalexTechnomag Racing Interwetten2:10.513
1023. Marcel SchrotterTech 3Tech 32:10.548
1136. Mika KallioKalexItaltrans Racing Team2:10.576
123. Simone CorsiKalexForward Racing2:10.590
1395. Anthony WestSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team2:10.594
1439. Luis SalomKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 402:10.854
1555. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia2:10.894
1611. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP2:10.930
1712. Thomas LuthiKalexDerendinger Racing Interwetten2:10.985
184. Randy KrummenacherKalexJIR Moto22:11.031
1994. Jonas FolgerKalexAGR Team2:11.092
2088. Ricard CardusTech 3Tech 32:11.104
217. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Racing2:11.286
2296. Louis RossiTech 3Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto22:11.486
2373. Alex MarquezKalexEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS2:11.661
2425. Azlan ShahKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia2:11.954
2570. Robin MulhauserKalexTechnomag Racing Interwetten2:12.509
2610. Thitipong WarokornKalexAPH PTT The Pizza SAG2:12.735
2766. Florian AltSuterOcto IodaRacing Team2:13.392
2851. Zaqhwan ZaidiSuterJPM Malaysia2:13.545
292. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG2:14.118
NQ49. Axel PonsKalexAGR TeamNo Time