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Raul Fernandez takes magnificent seventh Moto2 pole Gardner starts alongside 01The top two in the standings are the top two on the grid, in reverse, as Gardner faces his first shot at the crown

Raul Fernandez’ (Red Bull KTM Ajo) roll continues as the rookie sensation took his seventh Moto2™ pole position in the Grande Premio Brembo do Algarve, setting a new lap record in preparation for what could be a final stand in the Championship. He also equals Marc Marquez’ outright record of seven Moto2™ poles as a rookie. However, Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is the rider in second, two and a half tenths back, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the front row after going from Q1 to third on the grid.

Q1
Di Giannantonio topped Q1, the Italian a quarter of a second clear of Marcos Ramirez (American Racing), Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing GP) as those four graduated to the fight for pole.

One bit of drama came from a highside for Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), but the American was declared fit after a check in the Medical Centre..

Q2
Raul Fernandez was the fastest rider out the blocks in Q2 and straight away, the Spaniard set a new lap record. A 1:42.394 put the rookie sensation nearly a second clear of anyone else, before Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) cut it down to 0.222. Meanwhile, Gardner pitted while down in P16, 2.7 off the pace, the Aussie seemingly suffering an issue with his rear tyre.

With five minutes to go, Raul Fernandez led Aron Canet (QuieroCorredor Aspar Team) by 0.176, but any hope of the latter going one better vanished when Canet crashed at Turn 13 – rider ok. Soon after, Raul Fernandez set another lap record to stretch his lead to four tenths, but Gardner was back out and moved up to P8 on his first flying lap. On his next go at it, the Aussie propelled himself into second but still three tenths off teammate Fernandez.

Another personal best for Gardner wasn’t enough to see him topple his teammate and Championship rival, but P2 was very good damage limitation from the World Championship leader. The title-chasing duo will launch from P1 and P2, so it really couldn’t be set up better.

The Grid
Behind the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo and then ‘Diggia’ comes Canet. Despite his crash, the Aspar rider will start P4 after missing out on the front row by just 0.005. Augusto Fernandez slipped to P5 but it’s another solid Saturday, with American rookie Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) taking P6 and his second best qualifying result yet.

Third in the Championship Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) spearheads Row 3 alongside Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), with rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Jorge Navarro (Termozeta Speed Up) completing the top 10.

It’s all bubbling up to be another stunner on Sunday, so tune in for Moto2™ at the slightly altered and later time of 14:30, and in GMT.

Moto2™ front row:
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – 1’42.101
2 Remy Gardner – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex – +0.269
3 Fabio Di Giannantonio – Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 – Kalex – +0.405

Raul Fernandez: “I’m really happy because the plan before exiting in Q2 was the same. Exit 13 seconds later than the others, but when I exited everybody waited in the pits and I couldn’t do a really good qualifying, sometimes I had people in front, I wanted to ride alone and couldn’t, but in the end we have pole and I’m really happy. The last four races I’m really strong. I want to thank the team, they did an incredible job on Wednesday and Thursday because in Misano I destroyed the bike and they did an incredible job. I want to thank them. We’ll enjoy it tomorrow because we’ll try and win!”

For more Moto2 info checkout our dedicated Moto2 News page

Or visit the official MotoGP website motogp.com

Raul Fernandez takes magnificent seventh Moto2 pole Gardner starts alongside 02
Moto2™ front row L-R: Gardner, Raul Fernandez and Di Giannantonio

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