The rookie is back on top with another pole position, with the Championship leader alongside as Bezzecchi gets shuffled down to P17
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took his fourth pole of his rookie Moto2™ season at the Motul TT Assen, the Spaniard edging out teammate Remy Gardner in another Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) took third, the Brit back on the front row as he looks to gain back some ground.
Home hero Bo Bendseyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) headed through first, shadowed by German GP podium finisher Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) and Canet’s teammate Albert Arenas as the reigning Moto3™ World Champion continues to make solid progress in Moto2™. Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40), on the comeback from injury, was the final graduate… with Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) just missing out.
World Championship leader Gardner was the first rider to dip into the 1:36 bracket in Q2 to briefly lead the way, but teammate Raul Fernandez quickly took the initiative. The rookie landed a 1:36.567 to beat Gardner by over three tenths, as Lowes and Q1 graduate Canet placed provisional P2 and P3.
Having been demoted to P7, Gardner then came back out of the box with gritted teeth. The three-time 2021 winner returned to top spot but once again, Raul Fernandez struck back to go just 0.010 away from the all-time lap record. On his final flying lap, Augusto Fernandez seemed like he’d snatched a front row away from teammate Lowes too,but a yellow flag infringement for the Spaniard sees him demoted back to P8.
Raul Fernandez, Gardner and Lowes line up on the front row, with Canet taking P4 in the end and a fantastic result after finishing Free Practice in P21. The same can be said for Garzo as he took fifth and a best qualifying result since the 2020 Valencia GP. Rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) starts sixth in yet another impressive result from the Japanese rider.
Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) was a late crasher but lines up seventh on the Assen grid, and just 0.460 splits the fastest seven riders in Q2. Augusto Fernandez will be more determined than ever to try and fight for the podium having had his lap cancelled, the Spaniard down in eighth ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) – his best Moto2™ qualifying result – and rookie Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP).
Third overall, Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) had his last lap cancelled and will start from P17.
That’s it from Saturday, with Raul Fernandez turning the tables in qualifying once again. Can he get some revenge on his Sachsenring misfortune on Sunday this time round? Find out at 12:20 (GMT +2)!
Moto2™ front row:
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – 1:36.356
2 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.186
3 Sam Lowes – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +0.330
Raul Fernandez: “Unbelievable, I’m really happy to get my fourth pole position. It’s really important because the last race with the crash. We are really strong, I think that at this moment I am a little bit stronger than my teammate, but in the end, he has experience I don’t have. This is one really good point for him but yeah, we will try tomorrow to push, to break the group from the beginning but you don’t know, because you could exit bad or something like this. I want to enjoy, I want to fight for another podium, I want to go to the summer break with a podium, to enjoy the holidays really well and this is my main goal!”
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