Bike Racing

Moto2- Remy Gardner Takes Pole Ahead of Rookie Ai Ogura

Feature Image Credit: Red Bull KTM Ajo

An eventful qualifying session sees new riders fight for pole position, a champion contender struggling and another KTM pole position.

Ahead of the Moto2 Qualifying session it is announced that rookie Raul Fernandez is moving up to MotoGP in 2022. Which means that there are now two open KTM seats in Moto2. But with Di Giannantonio moving up to MotoGP as well, along with the open seats for Armco VR46, who else is moving up?

Q1

Some of the big names in the first qualifying session are Di Giannantonio, Joe Roberts, Bo Bendsneyder, and Bulega.
The Red Bull Ring is a very difficult track, where we see riders that don’t usually thrive, flourish. With the possibility of a wet race, we won’t see riders like Gardner or Fernandez push too hard. That adds a risk for injury, which isn’t worth it for one race. It might be open for other riders to throw it all on the line for a win, or podium.

All riders in Q1 head out immediately, wanting to get into the top four positions to secure a spot in Q2. Much like MotoGP, strong qualifying’s can mean the difference between a podium and being out of the points. This is even more important with the possibility of rain.

As the first times come in, Fabio Di Giannantonio tops the timesheets, followed by Hector Garzo, Stefano Manzi and Celestino Vietti.

With 5:00 minutes left, Di Giannantonio, Manzi, Vietti and Garzo are moving up to Q2. But the session is far from over.

Joe Roberts, who has received criticism for his lack of performance in 2021, makes his way into the bottom of the top four. In the past 14 races, Joe Roberts has only had three top sixes. If he can exceed the expectation and show improvement, he might still have a chance at claiming a MotoGP seat.
Just as he makes his way into the top four, Hector Garzo pushes him out of the top four.

The riders that will be making their way into Q2 are Fabio Di Giannantonio, Hector Garzo, Stefano Manzi and Albert Arenas.

Q2

The start to Q2 asks the question: Can anyone overthrow the KTM domination?
Riders like Marco Bezzecchi, Augusto Fernandez, and even Ai Ogura has shown some great pace this weekend. But will it be enough?

As the times begin to come in, R. Fernandez takes the fastest time with A. Fernandez right behind, and Bezzecchi takes third. It isn’t too long before Gardner takes first from R. Fernandez. While it seems like it can be another KTM washout, many riders are pulling some very fast times.

With 6:30 minutes left, Bezzecchi is leading the pack with Gardner and A. Fernandez behind him. R. Fernandez seems to be struggling just a bit, as he is in 5th place. While that is a good qualifying position, when it comes to the KTM’s, anything outside of the top 3 is abnormal.

A rider that is excelling at the Red Bull Ring is rookie Ai Ogura. He has made mistakes in the 2021 season, but has overall shown that he is already a mature rider who just needs some more experience. It won’t be long until he takes Moto2 by storm.

With 2:15 remaining in the session, Ogura takes pole position, pushing A. Fernandez out of the front row. If he can keep this up, and the other riders cannot catch up, then he will have his first Moto2 pole.

Responding to the pole position of Ogura, Gardner takes pole, reminding everyone on how experience can be superior.

The front row is taken up by Remy Gardner in pole position, Ai Ogura and Marco Bexxecchi.

Is the rookie Ai Ogura going to show his teeth, or will it be another KTM dominated race?
Tune in tomorrow to find out.

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