The rookie sensation does it again to head Lowes and Navarro as rain threatens Moto2™ Q2
After taking his maiden pole at Le Mans, Moto2™ rookie Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has done it again and with a new lap record at Mugello, despite rain threatening for the intermediate class. A few drops fell here and there but Fernandez nevertheless bettered the previous best, with Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) in second and Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up), just like on Friday, the closest challenger to the two title contenders.
The star of Q1 was most definitely Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and not just because he was fastest, but because it’s his first weekend on a Triumph-powered Moto2™ machine, his first race weekend at Mugello and his first World Championship appearance. The 16-year-old moved through to Q2 on first asking, and was joined by Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team).
Despite drops of rain coming down at parts of the track, the stage remained set, somehow, for Fernandez to shine. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) was the first fastest rider out there, but it only lasted seconds as Fernandez hit back. From there Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had brief stints fastest, but Lowes was the man able to depose and hold onto provisional pole the longest.
Not until the end of the session, however. Fernandez was on a roll and the rookie then slammed in his new lap record, looking to go even faster after that. But the raindrops saw some laps slip away, and it’s his 1:50.723 that becomes the fastest ever Moto2™ lap of Mugello. Lowes takes second as he and the Spaniard continue their duel this weekend, with Navarro, once again, the closest on the chase.
Fernandez and Lowes launch from P1 and P2 respectively, with Navarro locking out the front row in a near mirror of the Friday timesheets. Gardner heads Row 2 ahead of home hero Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), with Tony Arbolino’s (Liqui Moly Intact GP) form going nowhere as the rookie takes sixth.
Marco Bezzecchi will want more from Sunday as he heads up the third row of the grid in P7, ahead of Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP). Joe Roberts will be another who expected more from Saturday as he’ll start 10th.
Roberts’ teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta takes an impressive step forward to 11th, ahead of Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Ramirez and Aldeguer, who starts his first ever Moto2™ World Championship race from 15th.
That’s it from Saturday, can Fernandez take the points lead on Sunday as his roll of form continues? Find out at 12:20 (GMT +2).
Moto2™ front row:
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – 1:50.723
2 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.267
3 Jorge Navarro – MB Conveyors Speed Up – Bocoscuro – +0.374
Raul Fernandez: “I’m really happy to be here again, today the bike was incredible but the important thing isn’t the pole position, it’s Jason. I want to give my support to him, his family, and friends, that’s the important thing today.”
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