Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) is set to start the VisitQatar Grand Prix from his first ever pole position, setting a best time of 1:58.585 to beat Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.146, with Free Practice’s fastest man Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) completing the front row.
It was the first time the intermediate class had taken part in a Q1, Q2 format qualifying and it was Schrötter who set the early pace before creating his own first. Pole set on his sixth flier, he ended the session 0.146 ahead of Vierge, with Baldassarri jumping up the timesheets in the latter stages to grab a front row start – just 0.199 from pole.
After progressing from Q1, Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) put in a good shift in Q2 to head the second row in fourth, although it could have been better if not for the Italian crashing at Turn 2 with just over two minutes to go. Gardner starts fifth, ahead of Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) in sixth, 0.260 from pole.
Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) will line up seventh on his first start since returning to the Moto2™ class, the Swiss rider 0.419 off his teammate’s pole lap, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) joining him on the third row in P8. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) will lineup ninth for the opening race of the year, with fellow Spaniard Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) completing the top ten.
Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed during FP2, rider ok, and he starts P11 as the leading rookie.
A cracking qualifying in Qatar sets us up nicely for the first Moto2™ race of the new Triumph era. Who will take victory? Find out when the intermediate class go racing at 18:20 local time (GMT+3) on Sunday.
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