A P1 start could be just the tonic the Briton needs to end a frustrating run in Moto2™
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Sam Lowes has claimed the Moto2™ pole position at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland by a solid, 0.272-second margin. In scorching conditions at the Sachsenring, the Briton went as quick as a 1:23.493 to give himself the best possible chance of ending a run of six rounds in a row without points. The GASGAS Aspar Team’s Albert Arenas got a first intermediate class front row with the second-fastest time in Q2 and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez grabbed third on the grid, while World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) made Row 3.
Arenas was quickest out of the blocks in Q2 when he set a 1:23.765 and that was still best until, just after the 10-minute mark, Lowes jumped from eighth position to first with a time that was less than a tenth away from Raul Fernandez’s year-old All Time Lap Record. Augusto Fernandez, who had been relatively rapid in Friday practice and top three in FP3, then claimed third spot with a 1:23.825.
It was Britons first and fourth, and GASGAS Aspar Team entries second and fourth, thanks to Jake Dixon. He was quickest of those who came from Q1 with a 1:23.897 on his first flying lap in Q2, while German Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) qualified fifth-fastest for his home event on a 1:23.913. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) is looking to go one better than he did a fortnight ago to finally get that maiden Moto2™ race win, and sixth is a handy place to launch from after the Spaniard set a 1:23.973. Next on the timesheet was Q1 graduate Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) on a 1:24.091.
Vietti turns the tables on Ogura
One of the interesting points to note from FP3 was that Vietti was bumped into Q1 when the rider who is currently his nearest rival for the title, Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), pinched 14th late in that session. However, the VR46 rider comfortably made his way out of the first stanza of qualifying to ultimately claim eighth on the starting grid. It is hardly a repeat of his Q1-to-P1 heroics in Catalunya, when Vietti then converted that pole into a race win, but he will start a full two rows ahead of Ogura in Germany having set a 1:24.130 in Q2.
Americans Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) completed the top 10, ahead of Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up), and Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up). Ogura was 0.825 seconds off the pace in 14th, while fellow Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Somkiat Chantra is set to start from 21st after failing to get out of Q1. Between them, Filip Salac (Gresini Racing Moto2™) went from FP3 fast man to 16th on the grid.
Will it be a first win of the season for Lowes, a first of his intermediate class career for Canet, a second in a row for Vietti, or something completely different? After the morning Warm Up session at 09:20, another unpredictable Moto2™ race gets underway on Sunday at 12:20 (GMT +2)!
Moto2™ Q2 Top 10:
1. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – 1:23.493
2. Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.272
3. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.332
4. Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team) + 0.404
5. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 0.420
6. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) + 0.480
7. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.598
8. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.637
9. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.641
10. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) + 0.729