Bike Racing

Moto2: R. Fernandez Takes His First Pole

Feature Image Credit: Red Bull KTM Ajo

The 5th qualifying session of the season promises drama, as mixed conditions raise the stakes with the top three in the championship separated by six points. 


Starting the first session, the only names in Q1 are Joe Roberts, who is 6th in the world championship and Ai Ogura, who is currently 10th in the championship. 

The weather seems to have stabilized after a mixed condition qualifying for Moto3 and spits of rain in MotoGP, allowing the riders to have some ease on the dry track. The clouds ahead are indications to those fighting for Q2 that rain is a possibility. 

As the first laps roll in, Luthi leads. With his lack of positive results, there is a chance that he could lose his seat. 

With a little under 10 minutes left, Simoni Corsi takes provisional pole with Roberts and Luthi behind him. Immediately being thrown off track, Tony Arbolino and Jake Dixon take up vital spots in the top four. Much like Moto3, only the top four in the Q1 session will make their way into Q2. 

As the five minute mark signals the nearing end of the session, Ogura and Lorenzo Baldassari join Roberts and Corsi in the top four, pushing Dixon and Arbolino out. 

Despite the consistent track conditions, the riders struggle with cold tires and the wind. The race tomorrow could still be difficult even if they are dry conditions.

But with only one crash in the session, there are many individual incidents foreshadow what could come in Q2 and for the race day. 

The checkered flag rolls out and the top four has not changed. Roberts, Ogura, Corsi and Baldassari are set to head into Q2. 


With seconds before the pitlane opens to start the final qualifying session, spits of rain appear, which has yet to happen in 2021. The previous pole man in Le Mans is Joe Roberts- who is fully capable of riding at high speeds in the rain. 

How does this fair for the championship leaders: Remy Gardner, Sam Lowes and Raul Fernandez?

As the session comes to a start, the main question is whether to go for a dry or wet set-up. 

The first lap times roll in with most riders opting out for slick tires and a dry set-up. It’s incredibly hard to call what the right decision is at the moment. The rain and sun appear within minutes of each other, adding to the uncertainty on the track. One part could be dry as it pours down in pit-lane, so there’s no right answer. 

Ai Ogura is the first rider down of the session, crashing out in the middle of the track. The highside caused the paint of his machine literally streaked the circuit with white. Marcel Schrotter was also out, this time at turn 14 and Jorge Navarro followed at turn 8.

With the lap times finally coming in, Roberts leads the pack and is followed by Gardner and Bo Bendsneyder. 

Gardner uses Bendsneyder to take pole and ends up half a second clear of Roberts. R. Fernandez, who has six pole positions in Moto3, takes pole as the screen is lit with red times. 

Crossing the checkered flag with three seconds left, he has one more shot at taking pole. The only thing in Roberts’ way being himself and the conditions. Following behind, Bendsneyder and Gardner missed out on a last lap which put their positions at risk. 

In the end, R. Fernandez takes his first pole in Moto2 as Marco Bezzechi shoots up to 2nd, Joe Roberts the last rider on the front row.

Notably, Lowes qualified low on the grid in 10th as the conditions surely got the better of him. What does this mean for his championship run?

Tune in tomorrow to see the action unfold. 

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