Johann Zarco is well placed to extend his Moto2 championship lead after claiming pole position for the Catalunya Grand Prix. The Frenchman set the fastest ever Moto2 lap of the Circuit de Catalunya to outpace Jonas Folger while defending champion Tito Rabat took the final place on the front row.
Sandro Cortese had set the pace in Friday practice and the German made a bright start to qualifying with a 1:46.537 on his first flying lap of the session. The Intact rider held onto provisional pole until the halfway mark when Rabat’s steady increase in pace took him to a 1:46.423 and Cortese was relegated a further place when Dominique Aegerter rose to second, using Rabat’s slipstream to great effect.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, less than half a second covered the top ten but Zarco suddenly made a mockery of the competition, putting four tenths into them with a 1:46.007. His blistering pace even had the likes of Aegerter shaking his head in the pits and when the Ajo rider improved to a 1:45.895, pole position was out of his rivals’ reach.
Rabat returned to the track in the closing stages and halved the gap to Zarco but he was usurped by Folger seven minutes from time, knocking him down to third. Aegerter’s clever tactics early in the session saw him hold onto fourth while Sam Lowes recovered from a near-crash in the first ten minutes to secure fifth spot on the grid.
The Paginas Amarillas teammates line up next with Luis Salom pipping Alex Rins to sixth while Simone Corsi clocked a 1:46.526 to take eighth, demoting Cortese who paid the price for failing to better his early benchmark time and fell back to ninth.
MOTO2 G.P. MONSTER ENERGY DE CATALUNYA – QUALIFYING RESULT
|1||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||1:45.895|
|2||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||AGR Team||1:46.060|
|3||1. Tito Rabat||Kalex||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||1:46.123|
|4||77. Dominique Aegerter||Kalex||Technomag Racing Interwetten||1:46.191|
|5||22. Sam Lowes||Speed Up||Speed Up Racing||1:46.333|
|6||39. Luis Salom||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:46.478|
|7||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:46.490|
|8||3. Simone Corsi||Kalex||Forward Racing||1:46.526|
|9||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:46.537|
|10||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Derendinger Racing Interwetten||1:46.591|
|11||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||1:46.673|
|12||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||1:46.686|
|13||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Racing||1:46.745|
|14||19. Xavier Simeon||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1:46.784|
|15||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:46.805|
|16||23. Marcel Schrotter||Tech 3||Tech 3||1:46.806|
|17||25. Azlan Shah||Kalex||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||1:46.905|
|18||4. Randy Krummenacher||Kalex||JIR Moto2||1:47.077|
|19||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||1:47.151|
|20||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||Technomag Racing Interwetten||1:47.244|
|21||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:47.244|
|22||36. Mika Kallio||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:47.426|
|23||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:47.427|
|24||15. Ratthapark Wilairot||Suter||JPmoto Malaysia||1:47.508|
|25||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||1:47.600|
|26||96. Louis Rossi||Tech 3||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||1:47.624|
|27||95. Anthony West||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:47.711|
|28||66. Florian Alt||Suter||Octo IodaRacing Team||1:47.968|
|29||10. Thitipong Warokorn||Kalex||APH PTT The Pizza SAG||1:48.008|
|30||88. Ricard Cardus||Tech 3||Tech 3||1:48.044|
|31||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||1:48.081|
|32||93. Ramdan Rosli||Kalex||Petronas AHM Malaysia||1:48.831|