Bike Racing

Moto2- Lowes Takes Pole in the Heat

Feature Image Credit: Sam Lowes

Hot conditions shake up the field as the KTM’s continue to suffer at their home track. 


Much like last weekend, some of the top Moto2 riders are suffering with their times.
Bo Bendsneyder, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Joe Roberts, Nicolo Bulega, Stefano Manzi, and Hector Garzo. To name a few. 

While, as stated last weekend, it could be because the Austrian GP is a particularly hard track to work with, it could also have something to do with the new track format. Due to the safety issues the previous turn 2 has featured, another turn between the previous turn 1 and turn 2 has been added. It was put in place in order to slow down the riders in the straight in hopes of stopping the major accidents we see there all too often. 

All the riders head out right away, not a single one waiting in the pits. They can’t afford to wait when a position in Q2 is at risk. It’s usually in Q2 where we see Moto2 Mind Games being played. 

As the first times come in, Manzi tops the timesheets, followed by Hafizh Syahrin, Jake Dixon and Hector Garzo. The top four riders in the Q1 session will move up to Q2. And with all the big names in the session, a few are going to severely miss out. 

With eight minutes left in the session, Manzi is still on top, but Dixon, Di Giannantonio and Roberts will currently move up to Q2. 

A couple of riders that are definitely suffering are Bendsneyder and Arbolino. There are some tracks that really go against the rider’s preference, and this is clearly that track. 

With four minutes left in the session, many riders are cruising in sector three. It results in Albert Arenas crashing out. It’s hard to say if Race Direction will get involved- they don’t like cruising, but the crash was essentially on him. 

The riders that are moving on to Q2 are Stefano Manzi, Jake Dixon, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Nicolo Bulega. 


Heading into the Q2 session, it’s hard to see anyone other than the KTM’s taking pole position. From last weekend’s race, Ai Ogura, Aaron Canet, and Augusto Fernandez are promising competitors for the race, but it’s hands off for who is going to take pole. 

It’s a slow start, with most of the riders taking their time with their first lap of the race. The first times begin to come in with 11 minutes left in the session- Gardner, to no surprise, is on top. 

Following him is the Marc VDS rider A. Fernandez and Marcel Schrotter. Raul Fernandez, who suffered last weekend, is down in 11th. 

Last time out, Jorge Navarro suffered greatly in Austria. This weekend, though, he is one of the only riders that is really improving- holding a solid 10th place. 

Those taking pole position are changing faster than even the commentators can keep up. With eight minutes left, Ai Ogura is in pole position, followed by Sam Lowes and Aaron Canet. 

Marco Bezzecchi crashes out of the session. He is last week’s race winner and has only qualified in 13th place, so far. 

Ai Ogura has shown a lot of promise. He would have been the rookie of attention is R. Fernandez didn’t take Moto2 by storm atop the KTM. Based on last week’s performance, he has the ability to win the race.
If he doesn’t exceed track limits, too much. 

It’s odd seeing the two championship leaders suffer so much in the sessions. Since the weather was cool last weekend, it isn’t the heat.
Riders can put in good times and not compete in the race, and it looks like that will be KTM’s fate, yet again. 

As the time runs out, Gardner crashes out of putting a hot lap in. It’s a rare sight, but does happen. 

Sam Lowes takes pole position, followed by R. Fernandez and Ai Ogura. 

Will it be another KTM win, or will a different rookie take it all?
Tune in tomorrow to find out!

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