Motegi Moto2: Espargaro Earns Pole

2012-motegi-moto2-espargaro-earns-pole (1)2012 Motegi Moto2 Qualifying Results

It was Tuenti Movil HP 40’s Pol Espargaró who stormed to pole position in a frantic Moto2 qualifying session at the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi in front of Marc Márquez and Esteve Rabat.

In a session that saw riders scrapping it out until the very end for the top grid spots, it was Espargaró who once again produced the goods at the end with a lap of 1.50’886, which Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez was unable to beat on his final go. Making it an all-Spanish front row in Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat, who has displayed good pace all weekend, and could be a serious threat in the race.

Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding was just over a tenth shy of the front row, with the Brit looking in ominous form this weekend as he heads row two in fourth. Lining up next to him in fifth on the grid is Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi, who has continually been progressing up the ranks throughout the weekend. Surprise inclusion in the top six is JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco, who was largely off the radar in morning practice.

Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith had looked as if he could challenge for a front row start based on his pace in the preceding practices, yet the Brit looked to be struggling with his bike somewhat during qualifying. Italtrans Racing Team’s Toni Elías made a grand re-entry into the Moto2 fold as he put the Kalex in eighth on the grid, ahead of old teammate Nico Terol on the Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter machine. Elías’ teammate Takaaki Nakagami was the highest placed local rider in tenth.

With positions being fought for with typical Moto2 ferocity, some riders found themselves running off into the gravel throughout the session. One of the fallers was Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone, who continued to look out of sorts this weekend, ultimately ending up in 18th. Other riders that crashed out were Kiefer Racing’s Mike Di Meglio, QMMF Racing’s Elena Rosell and Espargaró’s teammate Axel Pons.

2012 Motegi Moto2 Qualifying Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 40 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Tuenti Movil HP 40 Kalex 257.4 1’50.886
2. 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol Suter 257.0 1’51.023 0.137 / 0.137
3. 80 Esteve RABAT SPA Tuenti Movil HP 40 Kalex 254.3 1’51.156 0.270 / 0.133
4. 45 Scott REDDING GBR Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 252.9 1’51.273 0.387 / 0.117
5. 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI Interwetten-Paddock Suter 254.8 1’51.481 0.595 / 0.208
6. 5 Johann ZARCO FRA JIR Moto2 Motobi 252.1 1’51.640 0.754 / 0.159
7. 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 248.6 1’51.736 0.850 / 0.096
8. 60 Julian SIMON SPA Blusens Avintia Suter 254.3 1’51.740 0.854 / 0.004
9. 18 Nicolas TEROL SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter 254.2 1’51.977 1.091 / 0.237
10. 24 Toni ELIAS SPA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 255.2 1’51.980 1.094 / 0.003
11. 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 253.4 1’52.038 1.152 / 0.058
12. 3 Simone CORSI ITA Came IodaRacing Project FTR 252.7 1’52.052 1.166 / 0.014
13. 49 Axel PONS SPA Tuenti Movil HP 40 Kalex 251.2 1’52.061 1.175 / 0.009
14. 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI JPN NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR 253.8 1’52.098 1.212 / 0.037
15. 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 258.5 1’52.223 1.337 / 0.125
16. 81 Jordi TORRES SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter 250.8 1’52.239 1.353 / 0.016
17. 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR 253.4 1’52.309 1.423 / 0.070
18. 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Speed Master Speed Up 252.7 1’52.353 1.467 / 0.044
19. 77 Dominique AEGERTER SWI Technomag-CIP Suter 255.1 1’52.536 1.650 / 0.183
20. 95 Anthony WEST AUS QMMF Racing Team Speed Up 255.3 1’52.686 1.800 / 0.150
21. 88 Ricard CARDUS SPA Arguiñano Racing Team AJR 251.7 1’52.781 1.895 / 0.095
22. 19 Xavier SIMEON BEL Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 250.3 1’52.921 2.035 / 0.140
23. 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Kiefer Racing Kalex 250.5 1’53.180 2.294 / 0.259
24. 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Desguaces La Torre SAG Bimota 251.7 1’53.182 2.296 / 0.002
25. 14 Ratthapark WILAIROT THA Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2 Suter 251.2 1’53.206 2.320 / 0.024
26. 22 Alessandro ANDREOZZI ITA S/Master Speed Up Speed Up 250.8 1’53.256 2.370 / 0.050
27. 75 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA JPN Technomag-CIP Suter 256.2 1’53.299 2.413 / 0.043
28. 8 Gino REA GBR Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter 252.3 1’53.413 2.527 / 0.114
29. 31 Kohta NOZANE JPN SAG Team FTR 251.0 1’53.505 2.619 / 0.092
30. 20 Jesko RAFFIN SWI GP Team Switzerland Kalex 252.2 1’54.352 3.466 / 0.847
31. 82 Elena ROSELL SPA QMMF Racing Team Speed Up 252.8 1’54.674 3.788 / 0.322
32. 57 Eric GRANADO BRA JIR Moto2 Motobi 245.8 1’55.057 4.171 / 0.383