Last Gasp Luthi Takes Australian GP Pole

Thomas Luthi’s impressive late season form continued in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix with pole position at Phillip Island. The Swiss rider timed his burst to perfection in a session which saw the times tumble throughout as track conditions continued to improve. Championship rivals Johann Zarco and Alex Rins came unstuck, qualifying tenth and sixteenth respectively.

Heavy rain earlier in the afternoon left the circuit damp in places and it provided an opportunity for some unlikely pole position challengers. The biggest surprise of them all came from another Swiss rider as Jesko Raffin hit the front for the SAG team twelve minutes from time. His dream of a maiden pole was ended by Sandro Cortese with five minutes to go but there was still one more twist in the tail.

With a matter of seconds remaining, Luthi leapt to the top of the leaderboard with the only sub-1:34 lap while Mattia Pasini used the Interwetten rider’s slipstream to grab second, fractionally faster than Sam Lowes. Cortese and Raffin were relegated to fourth and fifth although the latter will still start from comfortably the highest grid position of his career.

Jonas Folger will line up sixth ahead of another of the day’s surprise packages, Xavi Vierge, while Lorenzo Baldassarri took eighth ahead of Franco Morbidelli whose weekend has been littered by crashes. Zarco also tumbled during the session, leaving him tenth, while Rins ran out of fuel on his last run, leaving him nailed down in sixteenth.


Moto2 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Qualifying Result)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
112. Thomas LuthiKalexGarage Plus Interwetten1:33.992
254. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:34.051
322. Sam LowesKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto21:34.057
411. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:34.094
52. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG1:34.217
694. Jonas FolgerKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:34.245
797. Xavi ViergeTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:34.267
87. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Team1:34.284
921. Franco MorbidelliKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:34.410
105. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport1:34.470
1123. Marcel SchrotterKalexAGR Team1:34.529
1230. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia1:34.615
1324. Simone CorsiSpeed UpSpeed Up1:34.659
1473. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:34.695
1560. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team1:34.835
1640. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 401:34.893
1714. Ratthapark WilairotKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia1:34.920
1810. Luca MariniKalexForward Team1:35.094
1949. Axel PonsKalexAGR Team1:35.115
2055. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia1:35.194
2119. Xavier SimeonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team1:35.216
2252. Danny KentKalexLeopard Racing1:35.789
2387. Remy GardnerKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:35.804
2457. Edgar PonsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 401:36.089
2827. Iker LecuonaKalexCarXpert Interwetten1:36.236
2032. Isaac VinalesTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:37.913
2493. Ramdan RosliKalexPetronas AHM Malaysia1:38.803
2770. Robin MulhauserKalexCarXpert Interwetten1:39.002
2220. Alessandro NoccoKalexLeopard Racing1:39.340