Schrotter breaks lap record to take Qatar Moto2 Pole

by Joshua Close
Marcel Schrotter on pole in Moto2

Marcel Schrotter broke the lap record at the Losail circuit to take his first-ever Moto2 pole position.

The German controlled the session and improved his time on every lap that he completed. His final time of 1:58.585 is the quickest-ever Moto2 lap at Losail.

He will be joined on the front-row by Xavi Vierge and Lorenzo Baldassarri, with the top three covered by just +0.199s.

Luca Marini heads row two, despite having to come through Q1 and also having a crash in closing minutes of the final session.

Remy Gardner will start fifth, with Sam Lowes having to settle for sixth. Throughout the session, both riders lost time in the fourth sector of the lap.

Tom Luthi will start tomorrow’s race from seventh on his return to the class, alongside Brad Binder (eighth) and Alex Marquez (ninth). Augusto Fernandez completes the top 10.

Alongside Marini, Jorge Martin also suffered from a crash on his KTM and will start the race from 11th.

The Q1 session was controlled by the Sky Racing VR46 duo of Marini and Nicolo Bulega. With his first lap of the session, Marini went top with a 1:59.415.

Marini would improve further on his second lap, posting a lap-time of 1:59.154. Seconds later, Bulega crossed the line with a 1:59.625 to go third. On his next lap he moved up to second with a 1:59.303.

Joining the VR46 riders in Q1 was Tetsuta Nagashima, who was consistent throughout the session. Iker Lecuona was awarded the fourth and final Q1 spot after Fabio Di Giannanto’s final lap was ruled out for breaching track limits.

Unfortunately, Lecuona wouldn’t be able to take advantage of his position in Q2 as his bike broke down on his way into the pits in Q1 – his bike left stranded at the side of the track. He would eventually join proceedings, but it was too late to make much progress and he’ll start the race down in 16th.

On the track, Schrotter wasted little time and went straight to the top of the timing sheets with a 1:59.082. He improved his pace on his second flying lap, posting a 1:58.749.

Vierge would take top spot away momentarily, however Schrotter responded with a 1:58.703 to re-take provisional pole.

Behind them, Martin crashed out of the session at turn two. The reigning Moto3 champion lost the front end on the brakes.

Despite looking strong in the early part of the lap, both Gardner and Lowes struggled to challenge for the front-row positions.

Meanwhile, Schrotter was having no such problems and went even quicker with a lap-time of 1:58.5.85 – the fastest-ever lap of Losail for a Moto2 bike.

Moments later Marini crashed out at turn two, in similar circumstances to Martin. It was suggested by the BT Sport commentary team that wind could be the cause.

In the dying seconds Baldassari moved up into the final front-row position, joining Vierge and Schrotter.

Tomorrow’s Moto2 race is scheduled to begin at 15:20.

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