Folger Breaks Lap Record to Claim Qatar Pole

Jonas Folger set the fastest ever Moto2 lap of the Losail International Circuit to claim pole position for Sunday’s season opener in Qatar. The German, who took his maiden victory in this class here twelve months ago, outpaced pre-session favourite Sam Lowes with Alex Rins qualifying third despite a heavy crash.

Lowes had been the quickest rider through free practice and the Briton leapt straight to the top of the timesheets with a 1:59.499 in qualifying. Rins responded immediately to go four thousandths of a second faster but Folger made a sizeable leap forward on his second timed lap, clocking a 1:59.052 on the Dynavolt Intact Kalex.

With a four tenth deficit to make up, Rins looked to up the pace on his second run but as he approached turn two, the front end of his machine washed away under braking and slammed him into the tarmac. While the rider appeared largely uninjured, his Paginas Amarillas Kalex suffered substantial damage and although his mechanics worked a minor miracle to get him back out in the closing stages, Rins wouldn’t go any quicker.

The Spaniard’s misfortune opened the door for Lowes to snatch second place, an opportunity the Gresini rider grabbed with a 1:59.124, just 0.072s shy of Folger’s overall benchmark. Rins was relegated to third but he will still line up ahead of Johann Zarco who begins the defence of his championship from fourth. Franco Morbidelli makes his Marc VDS debut from fifth while Sandro Cortese ensured both Dynavolt machines will start inside the top six.

Lorenzo Baldassarri qualified seventh although his participation is in doubt after a heavy crash late in the session saw him taken away in an ambulance. Should he race, the Forward rider will have Marcel Schrotter and Takaaki Nakagami for company on row three with Danny Kent starting a solid eleventh for Leopard Racing.


Moto2 Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar (Qualifying Classification)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
194. Jonas FolgerKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:59.052
222. Sam LowesKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto21:59.124
340. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 401:59.354
45. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport1:59.419
521. Franco MorbidelliKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:59.509
611. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:59.627
77. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Team1:59.716
823. Marcel SchrotterKalexAGR Team1:59.759
930. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia1:59.811
1012. Thomas LuthiKalexGarage Plus Interwetten1:59.920
1152. Danny KentKalexLeopard Racing1:59.956
1249. Axel PonsKalexAGR Team1:59.999
1373. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS2:00.009
1424. Simone CorsiSpeed UpSpeed Up2:00.019
1577. Dominique AegerterKalexCarXpert Interwetten2:00.159
1655. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia2:00.176
1757. Edgar PonsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 402:00.188
1839. Luis SalomKalexSAG Team2:00.249
1954. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team2:00.454
2097. Xavi ViergeTech 3Tech 3 Racing2:00.627
2119. Xavier SimeonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team2:00.738
2244. Miguel OliveiraKalexLeopard Racing2:00.757
2314. Ratthapark WilairotKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia2:00.790
2460. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team2:00.816
252. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG2:01.130
2610. Luca MariniKalexForward Team2:01.414
2732. Isaac VinalesTech 3Tech 3 Racing2:01.970
2870. Robin MulhauserKalexCarXpert Interwetten2:02.057
2933. Alessandro TonucciKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto22:03.367
308. Efren VazquezSuterJPMoto Malaysia2:03.604