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.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
1.40Pol ESPARGAROSPATuenti Movil HP 40Kalex257.41’50.886
2.93Marc MARQUEZSPATeam Catalunya Caixa RepsolSuter257.01’51.0230.137 / 0.137
3.80Esteve RABATSPATuenti Movil HP 40Kalex254.31’51.1560.270 / 0.133
4.45Scott REDDINGGBRMarc VDS Racing TeamKalex252.91’51.2730.387 / 0.117
5.12Thomas LUTHISWIInterwetten-PaddockSuter254.81’51.4810.595 / 0.208
6.5Johann ZARCOFRAJIR Moto2Motobi252.11’51.6400.754 / 0.159
7.38Bradley SMITHGBRTech 3 RacingTech 3248.61’51.7360.850 / 0.096
8.60Julian SIMONSPABlusens AvintiaSuter254.31’51.7400.854 / 0.004
9.18Nicolas TEROLSPAMapfre Aspar Team Moto2Suter254.21’51.9771.091 / 0.237
10.24Toni ELIASSPAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex255.21’51.9801.094 / 0.003
11.30Takaaki NAKAGAMIJPNItaltrans Racing TeamKalex253.41’52.0381.152 / 0.058
12.3Simone CORSIITACame IodaRacing ProjectFTR252.71’52.0521.166 / 0.014
13.49Axel PONSSPATuenti Movil HP 40Kalex251.21’52.0611.175 / 0.009
14.72Yuki TAKAHASHIJPNNGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR253.81’52.0981.212 / 0.037
15.36Mika KALLIOFINMarc VDS Racing TeamKalex258.51’52.2231.337 / 0.125
16.81Jordi TORRESSPAMapfre Aspar Team Moto2Suter250.81’52.2391.353 / 0.016
17.15Alex DE ANGELISRSMNGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR253.41’52.3091.423 / 0.070
18.29Andrea IANNONEITASpeed MasterSpeed Up252.71’52.3531.467 / 0.044
19.77Dominique AEGERTERSWITechnomag-CIPSuter255.11’52.5361.650 / 0.183
20.95Anthony WESTAUSQMMF Racing TeamSpeed Up255.31’52.6861.800 / 0.150
21.88Ricard CARDUSSPAArguiñano Racing TeamAJR251.71’52.7811.895 / 0.095
22.19Xavier SIMEONBELTech 3 RacingTech 3250.31’52.9212.035 / 0.140
23.63Mike DI MEGLIOFRAKiefer RacingKalex250.51’53.1802.294 / 0.259
24.23Marcel SCHROTTERGERDesguaces La Torre SAGBimota251.71’53.1822.296 / 0.002
25.14Ratthapark WILAIROTTHAThai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2Suter251.21’53.2062.320 / 0.024
26.22Alessandro ANDREOZZIITAS/Master Speed UpSpeed Up250.81’53.2562.370 / 0.050
27.75Tomoyoshi KOYAMAJPNTechnomag-CIPSuter256.21’53.2992.413 / 0.043
28.8Gino REAGBRFederal Oil Gresini Moto2Suter252.31’53.4132.527 / 0.114
29.31Kohta NOZANEJPNSAG TeamFTR251.01’53.5052.619 / 0.092
30.20Jesko RAFFINSWIGP Team SwitzerlandKalex252.21’54.3523.466 / 0.847
31.82Elena ROSELLSPAQMMF Racing TeamSpeed Up252.81’54.6743.788 / 0.322
32.57Eric GRANADOBRAJIR Moto2Motobi245.81’55.0574.171 / 0.383