Johann Zarco will start his final Moto2 Grand Prix from pole position after narrowly pipping Thomas Luthi in qualifying at Valencia. The two-time champion edged out Luthi by six thousandths of a second after a session-long battle with the Swiss well-placed to finish as championship runner-up with Alex Rins only fifth on the grid.
Rins had actually topped the timesheets in the opening exchanges but that was as good as it got for the Spaniard as Zarco edged ahead at the seven minute mark, becoming the first rider to break into the 1:34s. Moments later, the Frenchman improved to a 1:34.879 which ultimately proved to be the pole time but Luthi threw everything at his rival in the remaining half hour.
At this stage, the gap between the two stood at just 0.031s and Luthi would register several red sector times, indicating that he was on track to depose Zarco from pole position. The final sector would prove to be his nemesis though and with one minute to go, Thomas set a personal best of 1:34.885, falling agonisingly short of pole.
Franco Morbidelli also heads into tomorrow’s finale with a shot at second in the championship and the Marc VDS rider rounds out the front row having joined Zarco and Luthi in the 1:34s. Mattia Pasini was unable to do the same but still edged out Rins for fourth while Julian Simon lines up sixth for what may prove to be his final Grand Prix.
British duo Sam Lowes and Danny Kent will start together on row three ahead of Takaaki Nakagami while Alex Marquez completes the top ten on the circuit he claimed Moto3 title glory two years ago.
Moto2 Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana (Qualifying Result)
|1||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||1:34.879|
|2||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Garage Plus Interwetten||1:34.885|
|3||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:34.933|
|4||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:35.152|
|5||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:35.184|
|6||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:35.222|
|7||22. Sam Lowes||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1:35.237|
|8||52. Danny Kent||Kalex||Leopard Racing||1:35.345|
|9||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||1:35.365|
|10||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:35.368|
|11||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:35.403|
|12||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||AGR Team||1:35.495|
|13||19. Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:35.517|
|14||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:35.607|
|15||44. Miguel Oliveira||Kalex||Leopard Racing||1:35.650|
|16||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||1:35.682|
|17||87. Remy Gardner||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||1:35.747|
|18||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Forward Team||1:35.756|
|19||97. Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:35.797|
|20||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:35.863|
|21||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||1:35.923|
|22||24. Simone Corsi||Speed Up||Speed Up||1:35.993|
|23||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Team||1:35.995|
|24||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||1:36.012|
|25||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||1:36.045|
|26||27. Iker Lecuona||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||1:36.278|
|27||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||1:36.309|
|28||42. Federico Fuligni||Kalex||Team Ciatti||1:36.728|
|29||32. Isaac Vinales||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:36.787|
|30||16. Hugo Clere||Transfiormers||Promoto Sport||1:40.531|