Alex Marquez dominated the opening Moto2 qualifying session of the season to take pole position in Qatar. The Spaniard led virtually throughout the session to claim his fourth pole in the intermediate class ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri with pre-season title favourites Francesco Bagnaia and Miguel Oliveira close behind.
Oliveira had made the brightest start to the session which took place under floodlights, setting a 2:01.041 in the opening ten minutes, but from the moment Marquez edged ahead on a 2:00.641, the identity of the polesitter was in very little doubt. To underline his superiority, Alex extended his lead still further five minutes from the end, giving him a half-second cushion over the field.
Instead, the focus shifted to the battle for second with Baldassarri pipping Bagnaia with his final lap of the evening, just three tenths shy of Marquez. Bagnaia still maintained a front row spot despite a late burst from Oliveira, the two split by just three thousandths of a second and both expected to contend for victory tomorrow.
Fifth spot went to the impressive Romano Fenati who made an impressive start to life in the intermediate class. The Italian will start just in front of series returnee Danny Kent who emerged from the pack late in the session to secure sixth on the grid. Jorge Navarro lines up seventh ahead of Mattia Pasini and Marcel Schrotter while Sam Lowes, another rider returning to the class, will start tenth after a crash midway through qualifying blunted his progress.
Moto2 Grand Prix of Qatar: Qualifying Result
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