Sam Lowes produced a sensational effort in the dying seconds of qualifying to snatch pole position for the Argentine Grand Prix away from Johann Zarco. The world champion looked on course for a ninth career pole in the intermediate class but Lowes navigated his way through some late traffic before outpacing the Frenchman, securing the fourth pole of his Moto2 career.
Zarco was the dominant force for much of the session, holding top spot from the moment he clocked a 1:43.753 six minutes in. Lowes was just a tenth shy in second but the longer the session went on, the less likely it looked that anyone would challenge the Ajo rider who was busy lowering his own benchmark time.
Sure enough, Zarco saved his fastest lap of the afternoon but his 1:43.466 wouldn’t prove quick enough for pole with Lowes unleashing a stunning final lap. The Briton, who was growing frustrated by traffic and sitting on the provisional second row, clocked a 1:43.347 to take his first pole for Federal Oil Gresini.
Jonas Folger backed up his Qatar pole position with third spot in Argentina while Takaaki Nakagami was relegated to the front of the second row by Lowes’ late improvement. Franco Morbidelli lines up fifth ahead of championship leader Thomas Luthi while Sandro Cortese starts seventh on the second Dynavolt Kalex.
Danny Kent, who finished Friday’s opening practice session in second spot, qualified eighth for his best Moto2 starting spot so far while Lorenzo Baldassarri secured himself a third row start just two weeks after dislocating both shoulders in Qatar.
Moto2 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina (Qualifying Classification)
|1||22. Sam Lowes||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1:43.347|
|2||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||1:43.466|
|3||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:43.637|
|4||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||1:43.709|
|5||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:43.733|
|6||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Garage Plus Interwetten||1:43.813|
|7||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:43.823|
|8||52. Danny Kent||Kalex||Leopard Racing||1:43.858|
|9||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Team||1:43.981|
|10||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||1:43.982|
|11||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:43.989|
|12||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||1:44.055|
|13||24. Simone Corsi||Speed Up||Speed Up||1:44.060|
|14||39. Luis Salom||Kalex||SAG Team||1:44.104|
|15||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:44.154|
|16||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||AGR Team||1:44.172|
|17||19. Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:44.396|
|18||44. Miguel Oliveira||Kalex||Leopard Racing||1:44.424|
|19||77. Dominique Aegerter||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||1:44.443|
|20||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:44.523|
|21||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||1:44.572|
|22||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Forward Team||1:44.603|
|23||97. Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:44.703|
|24||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:44.767|
|25||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||1:45.294|
|26||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||1:45.848|
|27||32. Isaac Vinales||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:45.859|
|28||8. Efren Vazquez||Suter||JPMoto Malaysia||1:46.272|
|29||33. Alessandro Tonucci||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||1:46.554|
|NQ||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||No Time|