Dominant Bagnaia Claims Motegi Moto2 Pole

by Louis Suddaby
Francesco Bagnaia - Photo Credit: Sky Racing Team VR46

Francesco Bagnaia produced a qualifying masterclass to claim a comfortable pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. The Italian dominated the session, leading the way throughout, and is well placed to extend his 28-point championship lead over Miguel Oliveira who could only manage ninth on the grid.

The early stages of the session saw Friday pacesetter Iker Lecuona prove his pace was no fluke, going straight to the top with a 1:51.342, only for Oliveira to edge ahead on the Red Bull Ajo KTM. Their performances were soon put into context by Bagnaia though who clocked the first sub-1:51 lap, before going to set four other laps in the 1:50 range.

Three of them would have been enough for pole in their own right but Bagnaia’s 1:50.759 on lap six proved the pick of the bunch. Fabio Quartararo, the fastest rider in morning practice, edged out Lecuona for second but Oliveira tumbled down the order after failing to improve on his second timed lap. Instead, Marcel Schrotter will head the second row after leaping up the order in the final five minutes while Thailand polesitter Lorenzo Baldassarri snatched fifth with the final lap of the afternoon.

Alex Marquez will start sixth despite a horrendous high-side on Friday morning which threatened to rule him out of the weekend while Xavi Vierge heads row three, just ahead of home favourite Tetsuta Nagashima and the frustrated Oliveira.


Moto2 Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Qualifying)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
142. Francesco BagnaiaKalexSky Racing Team VR461:50.759
220. Fabio QuartararoSpeed UpMB Conveyors - Speed Up1:50.924
327. Iker LecuonaKTMSwiss Innovative Investors1:50.990
423. Marcel SchrotterKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:51.043
57. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexPons HP401:51.092
673. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS1:51.250
797. Xavi ViergeKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:51.313
845. Tetsuta NagashimaKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia1:51.327
944. Miguel OliveiraKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:51.331
1041. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:51.340
1110. Luca MariniKalexSky Racing Team VR461:51.343
1240. Augusto FernandezKalexPons HP401:51.359
1387. Remy GardnerTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:51.505
1436. Joan MirKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS1:51.555
159. Jorge NavarroKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto21:51.638
1624. Simone CorsiKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:51.666
1777. Dominique AegerterKTMKiefer Racing1:51.769
1816. Joe RobertsNTSNTS RW Racing GP1:51.797
1922. Sam LowesKTMSwiss Innovative Investors1:51.808
205. Andrea LocatelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:51.822
2154. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:51.862
2257. Edgar PonsSpeed UpMB Conveyors - Speed Up1:51.899
2389. Khairul Idham PawiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia1:52.258
242. Jesko RaffinKalexSAG Team1:52.378
254. Steven OdendaalNTSNTS RW Racing GP1:52.505
2664. Bo BendsneyderTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:52.549
2762. Stefano ManziSuterForward Racing Team1:52.625
2866. Niki TuuliKalexSIC Racing Team1:52.775
2932. Isaac VinalesSuterForward Racing Team1:53.222
3095. Jules DaniloKalexNashi Argan SAG Team1:53.755
3118. Xavi CardelusKalexMarinelli Snipers Team1:53.870
3221. Federico FuligniKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:54.199

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