Wednesday, December 6, 2023
HomeMotorsportsMoto2 qualifying Qatar: Roberts snatches pole from Vietti

Moto2 qualifying Qatar: Roberts snatches pole from Vietti

Joe Roberts wins a close qualifying session in Qatar ahead of Celestino Vietti and Aron Canet – World Champion Pedro Acosta rides on row three

In a close Moto2 qualifying session in Qatar, Joe Roberts can celebrate his first pole position since 2020. The Kalex rider set a new track record of 1:57.305 minutes and was just a blink of an eye faster than Celestino Vietti in second place. Aron Canet completed the front row in third place

“This is pretty crazy! This is where it all started for me, because this is where I took my first pole. Now I’m here again. I hadn’t managed another pole since then,” recalls pole setter Roberts.

“When I saw that Fermin was faster than my track record from back then, I thought to myself: I can’t let that happen. This is my track, I have to fight back.” With success: “All I can say is: the bike works really well here and I love Qatar.”

Things got really fast in Q1, as Vietti topped the session with a time of 1:57.568 minutes and was once again significantly faster than Fermin Aldeguer, who had only set a new track record in the third practice session.

Vietti thus subsequently made it into Q2, as did Filip Salac, Marcos Ramirez and Alonso Lopez. Darryn Binder from the IntactGP team narrowly missed the cut in sixth place in Q1

His team-mate Lukas Tulovic was in eighth place after three practice sessions and had therefore made it straight into Q2. However, it was not enough for the front rows of the grid in qualifying. The general pace was too high compared to practice.

Numerous drivers set times under 1:58 minutes. As in Q1, Vietti initially stayed in front. He improved his own record by a few tenths, but it wasn’t enough. Roberts drove another seven thousandths faster, snatching not only the track record from Vietti, but also pole.

Nobody was able to attack on the final lap because the session had to be stopped 33 seconds earlier than planned. Forward rider Alex Escrig’s engine failure in turn 7 was to blame, which brought out the red flags

The top 3 with Roberts, Vietti and Canet were separated by just 0.028 seconds in the end. Fermin Aldeguer, the best Boscoscuro rider, was also only 0.127 seconds behind in fourth place.

He shares the second row with Sam Lowes and Jake Dixon. Moto2 World Champion Pedro Acosta will start tomorrow’s race from seventh on the grid. Marcos Ramirez, Manuel Gonzalez and Alonso Lopez will line up behind him. World championship runner-up Tony Arbolino will follow in eleventh position on the grid.

Tulovic was unable to equal his personal best time from practice and finished Q2 in 17th place, the penultimate position. He was 1.181 seconds off the pole time



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