Luca Marini followed up his maiden Moto2 victory in Malaysia with pole position for the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix. The Italian led for much of the qualifying session before coming under pressure from the Dynavolt riders, Xavi Vierge and Marcel Schrotter, but Marini held on for his second career pole.
After a weekend heavily disrupted by persistent rain, the Moto2 riders had the unusual luxury of a dry track for qualifying. This was bad news for Iker Lecuona, who had topped both Friday practice sessions in the wet, and the young Spaniard would wind up 21st on the grid after a crash on his Swiss Innovative Investors KTM.
Marini was certainly happy in the drier conditions, clocking a 1:37.333 on his very first lap of the afternoon before going onto improve by over a second before returning to the pits. At this stage, Schrotter trailed by a third of a second but the German would overhaul Marini nine minutes from the end, becoming the first rider to break into the 1:35s bracket.
To underline his superiority, Marini responded almost immediately to regain pole position but he still required a further improvement to fend off Vierge whose last gasp effort lifted him to within 0.027s of Luca in second. Newly crowned champion Francesco Bagnaia rose to fourth on his final lap of the day with Lorenzo Baldassarri fifth, just ahead of Britain’s Sam Lowes.
Joan Mir will start seventh for his final Moto2 race ahead of Augusto Fernandez and another MotoGP graduate in Fabio Quartararo while championship runner-up Miguel Oliveira lines up tenth, capping off a season of qualifying disappointments.
Moto2 Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana (Qualifying)
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