Ai Ogura takes Pole ahead of Tony Arbolino and Sam Lowes.
We head to sunny Spain this week for the Gran Premio Red Bull De España, as the Moto2 gear up for redemption after the catastrophe of Portugal.
With Day 1’s combined timesheets witnessing 19 riders within a second of the lead, it became clear that everyone had an agenda; be it those looking to recover after last Sunday’s horrendous crash, or those now hooked on placing within the points.
Q2 began as it always does, as multiple title leaders flew to the top of the board in the opening minutes. One of these riders included Aron Canet, who phenomenally rides after suffering from a fractured radius and a broken finger after last weekend’s crash. The Pons Racing rider was one of the riders to lose the most in Portugal, as a storm to the lead in Race 1 would’ve been a set guarantee of redeeming his place amongst the title contenders. However, with those injuries in mind, it’ll be a feat in its own for Canet to simply finish the race on Sunday.
Despite ending Day 1 in 9th place, the Spaniard once again saw himself battling for Pole. However, it was Tony Arbolino who held his ground on the top spot, after taking it with 8 minutes remaining as both ELF Marc VDS Team riders topped the board, with Sam Lowes in provisional P2.
While the men in maroon held the top positions for a decent portion of the session, it was Ai Ogura who stole the provisional Pole with less than 5 minutes remaining with a time of 1:41.289, with Arbolino settling for second. The Japanese rider has proved to be yet another strong contender this weekend, finishing the Friday sessions in P3. The IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia were already having a tenacious Saturday, as Somkiat Chantra took the top spot in Q1 to join teammate Ogura in the second session.
As the session wound down into the final minutes, Ogura’s time remained untouchable by the pack up until the chequered flag. While the Pole appears as a clean sweep for the 21-year-old, it should be noted that the top 13 riders were all within a second of the Poleman’s time.
While the VDS duo round out the front row, Aron Canet heroically held onto P4, ahead of Fermin Aldeguer and Celestino Vietti. Despite placing well, Vietti once again surrounds himself with some very intimidating title rivals come race day. Somkiat Chantra graduated from Q1 to take an admirable P7 on the grid, ahead of Bo Bendsneyder and Augusto Fernandez.
Pedro Acosta rounds out the Top 10, as Jake Dixon places in 11th after crashing in the session – the Brit will be another looking for redemption after crashing out of the lead in the race restart last weekend. Albert Arenas rounds out Row 4, ahead of Jorge Navarro and Portugal victor Joe Roberts in P13 and P14, respectively.
Can Ogura turn his Pole into a win, or will the VDS pair put up a fight when the lights go out?
Moto2’s race begins at 12:20 Local Time (GMT +2)
Feature Image: MotoGP.com