Bike Racing

Moto2: Jerez qualifying report.

Lorenzo Baldassarri took pole position in perfect conditions at Jerez, in the heart of Andalucia.

The session, as is usual for Moto2 started slowly, the only thing happening of note in the early laps was Steven Odendaal crashing his NTS at turn 9 with less than 8 minutes of the session having gone by. Alex Marquez looked to make a statement by getting to be the fastest from the off, consistently lapping in the low 1.42s. Francesco Bagnaia soon made a statement of his own however, going past Marquez after 10 minutes of the session, as Eric Granado threw his Suter down the road at turn 8. He would not rejoin, the damage too much for the Forward Racing team to fix. The MotoGP bound Miguel Olivera was 10th in the first few laps.

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With 30 minutes left, Sam Lowes decided to join in the fun, and threw his KTM down the road too, really making his session an uphill battle. His SII KTM team did an excellent job however to make sure he got out with 18 minutes of the session left. With 25 minutes left, Lorenzo Baldassarri went to pole, breaking the lap record held by Alex Marquez in the process. The next lap he then decided to break the record again, the resurfaced track clearly paying dividends for ‘Iron’ Balda. Halfway through the session Mattia Pasini also sent it down the road at turn 9, very closely followed by Iker Lecuona, the right side of the tyre must have lost some temperature for both, as coming into the turn you’ve been on the left side for quite a while. The only person improving was Tetsuta Nagashima at this point, lifting himself up to 12th. Danny Kent on the Speed Up must have wondered how he was so far down the order, despite being only 0.8 seconds off the fastest time he was 19th!

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With only eight minutes of the session left, the majority of the riders were in the pits, waiting on someone to blink so they could get a tow. Pasini obliged, and off everyone went, hunting for a tow. Marquez was being followed by the master of the tow, Hector Barbera, and so Marquez aborted the lap, and gestured to Barbera that he wasn’t getting anything from him. Jorge Navarro was 4th, but had a small crash at turn two, closely followed by Pasini for his second crash of the day. With less than five minutes remaining, another crash, as Olivera threw his KTM away at the now infamous turn 9. He was only 10th, and could not improve as the bike has to be wheeled away. Kent would go to 10th almost instantly, as the Andorran wildcard Xavi Cardelus, Federico Fuligni and the Remy Gardner replacement Hector Garzo all also went down at turn 9 in separate incidents. Baldassarri would be the first rider to break the 1.41 barrier, closely followed by Marquez, but wasn’t fast enough to pass Baldassarri.

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With the top three places being filled by Baldassarri, Marquez and Bagniaia, tomorrow could be a very interesting race, as the riders were that close. Joan Mir was once again top rookie in 6th, and a potential spoiler could be Navarro, as he ended up 4th. What will happen in the race? Find out on Overtake Motorsport!

Full results here.

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