Celestino Vietti claims Pole, ahead of Aron Canet and Joe Roberts.
After an 8-race drought, we finally witness the title leader return to Pole position, for the first time since the opening round in Qatar. The Italian graduated into Q2 after achieving P2 in the first qualifying session earlier in the day on Saturday. With the title at risk, as Ogura now matches Vietti’s points, it appears as though the Mooney VR46 Racing Team rider has finally perked up after last weekend’s technical DNF on race day.
As the riders began their 15-minute charge, it was Sam Lowes to top the board first. However, it wasn’t long before season strongman Aron Canet took to the front, with Joe Roberts in tow in second. As numerous riders began to threaten the top with just under 10 minutes remaining, Canet continued to defend his position and improve his time until the end of Run 1.
Heading out for the second run of the session, Canet continued to lead the session as the likes of Pedro Acosta struggled to even set a decent time in the first half. In the final minute, the rookie hit heavy traffic on the Catalunya circuit, and struggled to really set any decent time.
Another victim of the traffic was Joe Roberts, who was in the midst of a Pole-rivalling time in his final flying lap. However, a rider who managed to find some space on the asphalt was Vietti, who – after sitting mid- pack all session – was just able to squeeze out Canet for Pole at the chequered flag, taking the front spot on the grid by just 0.008s. Canet was unable to respond in his final lap of the session, and so settles for P2 on the grid for race day. Roberts was able to take the final front-row spot amidst the traffic.
Inde GASGAS Aspar Team duo Jake Dixon and Albert Arenas take 4th and 5th place, as Lowes settles for P6 – a promising start for the unlucky Brit, hopefully his luck will change this time around.
Bo Bendsneyder leads Row 3 in 7th place, followed by French victor Augusto Fernandez and Marcel Schrötter. The second title leader Ai Ogura will have his work cut out for him come race day, as the Japanese rider rounds out the Top 10. Mugello victor Acosta settles for a P12 start on the grid.
Can Vietti extend his title lead once again come the chequered flag, or will Ogura finally take to the front?
Moto2’s race begins at 12:20pm Local Time (GMT +2)
Feature Image: MotoGP.com