Fermin Aldeguer becomes youngest ever Moto2 poleman at 16 years old. Augusto Fernandez and Tony Arbolino join on the front row.
After schedule changes left Friday without action, Fermin Aldeguer completely capitalised on all of Saturday’s sessions. The MB Conveyors Speed Up rider topped both Free Practice timesheets, with Fernandez following in P2 for every session.
Manuel Gonzalez and Bo Bendsneyder began the battle for Pole in the opening minutes of the second QP; with both riders fresh off the track from Q1, it was no surprise to see them fired up for round two. However, as tyres began warming up for the rest of the pack, it was Celestino Vietti who entered the ring, challenging for the top spot with 8 minutes to go. With the hypothetical glove being thrown by the title leader, it wasn’t long before others joined the fight.
Augusto Fernandez was next to take the provisional Pole position, the ELF Marc VDS Racing Team rider had begun Saturday with ferocity, following closely behind Aldeguer in both Free Practice sessions, keeping to under a 0.2s gap in the combined timesheets. However, despite Fernandez’s consistency, Aldeguer remained one step ahead at all times, and expectedly took to the top spot of Qualifying with just over 6 minutes remaining. While the final minutes of the session saw further challenges from Fernandez, with Arbolino now adding to the mix, Aldeguer cemented his Pole position with a time of 1:43.306, and remained untouchable until the chequered flag, gifting the 16-year-old with his record-breaking maiden Pole Position in the intermediate class.
With such a solid Saturday for Fermin Aldeguer, we can only hope that the Spaniard’s luck will continue into race day. However, after witnessing the heartbreaking end to Jake Dixon’s phenomenal weekend last time out in Indonesia, it would be foolish to not believe that anything is possible on a Sunday. Only time will tell for the youngster.
Albert Arenas fronts the second row in P4, as Jake Dixon follows behind in 5th place. Title leader Celestino Vietti will be hunting for a much-needed rostrum from 6th, especially with title rival Aron Canet starting down the order in P12.
Indonesia race winner, and his own history-maker, Somkiat Chantra starts from 7th on the grid – a good result considering the IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider’s crash earlier in the day, followed by Ai Ogura and Bo Bendsneyder in P8 and P9, respectively. Manuel Gonzalez rounds out the Top 10. Sam Lowes sits outside of the Top 10 on Row 4, behind Gonzalez.
Despite some class favourites sinking down the order on the grid, the first Four Rows are covered by just half a second. Can Aldeguer claim a dream victory, or will Fernandez finally triumph this weekend?
The Moto2 Race will begin at 13:20 Local Time (GMT -3).
Feature Image: MotoGP.com