Moto 2: Raul Fernandez Takes Pole Position at Algarve
Raul Fernandez takes his seventh pole of the season with team-mate and championship rival Remy Gardner alongside in second
The sun was out with clear blue skies, but there was a bit of a breeze making the track temperature quite cool being at 26 degrees but it was getting cooler and cooler. In Q1 Fabio Di Giannantonio topped the session with Marcos Ramirez in second, Marcel Schrotter in third and Hafizh Syahrin taking the final spot to go into Q2.
As the Q2 session started, Raul Fernandez was lightning straight out of the box setting a new lap record. The two SKY VR46 Racing Team riders were in second and third with Marco Bezzecchi being the better of the two.
On their second laps, Augusto Fernandez put his Marc VDS onto the front-row in second with his team-mate Sam Lowes moving into fifth and Jorge Navarro was in fourth with Celestino Vietti dropping to eighth.
Raul then went even faster with Aron Canet moving up to second, Remy Gardner was yet to set a competitive lap time, but he went out of the pits with seven minutes remaining. American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier had tagged onto the back of the championship leader.
With four minutes remaining, Raul was even faster, going 0.4 seconds faster than anyone else, Di Giannantonio had moved into second whilst Canet crashed out of the session at turn 13. Remy Gardner with two hot laps remaining was down in eighth position.
With just a little over a minute to go, Gardner moved into second place which was crucial for the Australian. Beaubier who was still getting a tow from Gardner used it to his advantage to get into sixth place.
Remy and Cam went faster but they stayed in their positions. Raul Fernandez took his seventh pole position of the season, with team-mate Remy Gardner in second and Fabio Di Giannantonio in third.
Aron Canet heads the second row ahead of Augusto Fernandez and Cameron Beaubier. Marco Bezzecchi will start in seventh place, despite taking pole at the circuit earlier in the season, Sam Lowes qualified in eighth place and Ai Ogura ended the session in ninth.
Jorge Navarro rounded out the top ten on his BOSCOSCURO, Xavi Vierge was eleventh and Hector Garzo rounded out the fourth-row. Marcos Ramirez heads the fifth-row Celestino Vietti and Marcel Schrotter joining him. The final three riders of the session were Hafizh Syahrin, Stefano Manzi and Albert Arenas.
The two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders are the favourites for the race with Remy also feeling a bit stiff after his crash with Marcos Ramirez in Free Practice Two. Who will win the penultimate race of the season?
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