Baldassarri Hangs on to Thailand Moto2 Pole

by Louis Suddaby
Lorenzo Baldassarri - Photo Credit:

Lorenzo Baldassarri took the first ever Moto2 pole position at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand after an early flying lap proved good enough to top the qualifying timesheets. The Italian held off late challenges from Alex Marquez and Luca Marini to claim his second career pole position while the two championship challengers will line up on the second row.

In sweltering conditions, Baldassarri set a scorching early pace with a 1:36.374 coming on just his second flying lap of the afternoon. With the track temperatures soaring and the grip of his tyres falling away, the Pons rider would go no faster and his rivals would battle in vain as they attempted to deny him pole position. Marquez would come closest, but ultimately a weakness in the final sector would prove his undoing as a one-tenth advantage turned into a 0.026s deficit.

Marini was another rider to regularly set overall-fastest sector times but, just like Marquez, failed to carry that advantage through the final sequence of corners, winding up eight thousandths down on the Spaniard in third. Friday pacesetter Mattia Pasini may have had the pace to usurp Baldassarri himself but we would never find out, the Italtrans rider crashing out at turn nine when on course for a pole position lap. This left him fourth.

Miguel Oliveira avoided a repeat of his Aragon qualifying disaster, taking fifth ahead of series leader Francesco Bagnaia who needed a late improvement to rescue sixth. Aragon winner Brad Binder will line up seventh ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Augusto Fernandez while Marcel Schrotter rounds out the top ten.


Moto2 PTT Thailand Grand Prix (Qualifying)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
17. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexPons HP401:36.374
273. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS1:36.400
310. Luca MariniKalexSky Racing Team VR461:36.408
454. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:36.527
544. Miguel OliveiraKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:36.529
642. Francesco BagnaiaKalexSky Racing Team VR461:36.531
741. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:36.545
820. Fabio QuartararoSpeed UpMB Conveyors - Speed Up1:36.589
940. Augusto FernandezKalexPons HP401:36.661
1023. Marcel SchrotterKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:36.689
1136. Joan MirKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS1:36.744
1227. Iker LecuonaKTMSwiss Innovative Investors1:36.797
1324. Simone CorsiKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:36.865
1477. Dominique AegerterKTMKiefer Racing1:36.867
1522. Sam LowesKTMSwiss Innovative Investors1:36.877
165. Andrea LocatelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:36.878
179. Jorge NavarroKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto21:36.894
1845. Tetsuta NagashimaKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia1:36.898
1987. Remy GardnerTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:36.933
2097. Xavi ViergeKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:37.069
214. Steven OdendaalNTSNTS RW Racing GP1:37.287
2216. Joe RobertsNTSNTS RW Racing GP1:37.432
2364. Bo BendsneyderTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:37.474
2489. Khairul Idham PawiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia1:37.537
2557. Edgar PonsSpeed UpMB Conveyors - Speed Up1:37.588
2699. Thitipong WarokornKalexSAG Team1:37.673
2762. Stefano ManziSuterForward Racing Team1:37.686
2866. Niki TuuliKalexSIC Racing Team1:37.722
2918. Xavi CardelusKalexMarinelli Snipers Team1:37.997
3095. Jules DaniloKalexNashi Argan SAG Team1:38.260
3132. Isaac VinalesSuterForward Racing Team1:38.622
3221. Federico FuligniKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:38.772

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