Johann Zarco came out on top in a late-session shootout with Sam Lowes to claim pole position for the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno. The reigning champion went head-to-head with the Briton after a late red flag set the stage for a duel between the two but Zarco prevailed by three hundredths of a second with Lowes lining up second on tomorrow’s grid.
One of the stories of the weekend has been the improvement from Alex Marquez who had taken his season-best result in Austria last time out. The former Moto3 champion was quickest on Friday morning and made the brightest start in qualifying too, clocking a 2:01.831 on his second timed lap.
As is often the case in Moto2, the session entered a lull with Marquez remaining unbeaten but with five minutes remaining, qualifying was brought to a halt altogether following a heavy highside for Thomas Luthi at turn nine. With the Swiss rider requiring assistance, the red flags were brought out and once Luthi had been stretchered away, a five minute dash ensued.
Lowes led the charge out of the pits but crucially, Zarco was locked into his slipstream and although the Gresini rider set a 2:01.614 on his last attempt to snatch pole, Johann followed him over the line to wrestle top spot straight off him, clocking a 2:01.581. Marquez was unable to better his early effort and was shuffled back down to third as a result.
Takaaki Nakagami heads the second row with Luthi lining up fifth, assuming he is medically cleared to take the start tomorrow. Franco Morbidelli starts sixth ahead of an out-of-sorts Alex Rins while Danny Kent produced his best qualifying display of the season to beat Jonas Folger to eighth.
Moto2 HJC Helmets Grand Prix Ceske Republiky (Qualifying Result)
|1||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||2:01.581|
|2||22. Sam Lowes||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||2:01.614|
|3||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||2:01.831|
|4||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||2:02.046|
|5||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Garage Plus Interwetten||2:02.049|
|6||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||2:02.099|
|7||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||2:02.139|
|8||52. Danny Kent||Kalex||Leopard Racing||2:02.289|
|9||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||2:02.293|
|10||24. Simone Corsi||Speed Up||Speed Up||2:02.315|
|11||44. Miguel Oliveira||Kalex||Leopard Racing||2:02.372|
|12||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||AGR Team||2:02.380|
|13||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||2:02.413|
|14||77. Dominique Aegerter||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||2:02.462|
|15||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||2:02.528|
|16||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||2:02.577|
|17||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||2:02.669|
|18||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Forward Team||2:02.780|
|19||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||2:02.985|
|20||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Team||2:03.024|
|21||87. Remy Gardner||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||2:03.316|
|22||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||2:03.352|
|23||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||2:03.431|
|24||97. Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||2:03.570|
|25||19. Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||2:03.601|
|26||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||2:03.968|
|27||32. Isaac Vinales||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||2:04.306|
|28||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||2:04.376|
|29||95. Anthony West||Suter||Montaze Broz Racing Team||2:04.943|