On a drying Silverstone circuit, Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) grabbed pole position on his final lap at the GoPro British Grand Prix to deny a maiden Moto2™ pole for Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing). Nevertheless, the Australian took his first career front row start in P2, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the front row in third.
Sunny skies welcomed the Moto2™ grid for qualifying after rain had disrupted much of the day and as expected, the quickest lap times came at the end of the session as track conditions continued to improve. Bagnaia sat on provisional pole with less than three minutes remaining, before Free Practice’s fastest rider Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) jumped to the top, closely followed by Marquez at the checkered flag before Gardner lit up the timing screens – going provisional pole by 0.064. However, despite making a mistake on his penultimate run, the Championship leader was able to get a final flying lap in – making it count to snatch pole by nearly two tenths.
Schrötter slipped down to fourth, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) ending qualifying in fifth after jumping from 18th with only seconds remaining. Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego Speed Up Racing) lines up at the rear of the second row, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) just 0.016 behind the Frenchman, in seventh. Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) secured eighth place on the grid, just ahead of teammate and home favourite Sam Lowes in ninth, despite the British rider battling for pole throughout as he aims to earn a first podium of the season in front of his home crowd.
Rookie Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team) rounds out the top ten in qualifying, with Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) producing a heroic ride in P11 despite fracturing his wrist at the Austrian GP. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) completes the top 12.
Championship challenger Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has some serious work to do on Sunday if he’s to challenge title rival Bagnaia at Silverstone, as the Portuguese rider could only manage P23 on Saturday afternoon after a difficult weekend so far.
Rain is forecast on Sunday, so who will come out on top in the intermediate class? Lights go out for Moto2™ at a different time to usual, with the race getting underway at 14:30 local time (GMT +1).
Moto2™ Qualifying Results
1 – Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX 2’08.153
2 – Remy Gardner (AUS) TECH 3 +0.194
3 – Alex Marquez (SPA) KALEX +0.258