Schrotter edges Marquez to take Moto2 pole in Austin

by Joshua Close
Schrotter on pole at COTA

Marcel Schrotter will start tomorrow’s Moto2 race at the Circuit of the Americas from pole after edging out Alex Marquez.

Schrotter was in control for the majority of the session, going quicker on each lap. He would eventually finish +0.058s ahead of Marquez, who leaped up the order on his final lap. This is Schrotter’s second pole of the 2019 season.

Sam Lowes completes the front-row after posting a 2:11.123 lap-time in the dying seconds. The Brit was only +0.248s off the pole lap-time of 2:10.875.

Thomas Luthi heads the second-row and had been challenging his Dynavolt Intact GP teammate for pole. Unfortunately for the Swiss rider, his final lap got away from him in the third sector.

Brad Binder will start from fifth having fought his way through Qualifying 1. The second-row is completed by Jorge Navarro on the Beta Tools Speed Up machine.

Mattia Pasini is next up in seventh on his return to the championship. The 33-year-old has been called up by the Flexbox HP 40 team as a replacement for the injured Augusto Fernandez.

Jorge Martin is eighth on the KTM, with Simone Corsi and Luca Marini completing the top 10. Championship leader, Lorenzo Baldassarri could only manage 15th and was struggling throughout the qualifying session.

Qualifying 1 was controlled by the KTM duo of Martin and Binder. Martin went to the to top of the timing sheets in the final minute of the session, whilst Binder went through to Qualifying 2 in third spot.

They were split by Bo Bendsneyder in the closing seconds, with Marco Bezzecchi also sneaking into the top four on his final lap.

Onto Qualifying 2 and it was Binder who set the early benchmark, with a 2:11.276. Moments later, Remy Gardner’s session came to a premature end as he crashed coming over the hill towards turn 10. The Australian clipped the curb and was thrown off the bike.

Back on the track, Schrotter moved up into second with Luthi following him up the standings into third. Marquez was on course to challenge the leaders but made a mistake at the final corner.

Luthi improved on his next lap and went quickest with a 2:11.243, however his lead was short-lived as Schrotter went back to the top with a 2:11.169.

The German went even quicker on his final lap and took provisional pole with a 2:10.875. Luthi was also going strong but his lap went away in the third sector.

With only seconds remaining, Marquez moved up to second, only +0.058s behind Schrotter. Lowes then shot up the order on his final lap, moving from seventh to third.

Tomorrow’s race is scheduled to begin at 18:20.

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