Augusto Fernandez ticks a box but Ai Ogura will start just behind the Championship leader
Beta Tools Speed Up’s Alonso Lopez has taken his first Grand Prix pole position by topping Moto2™ Q2 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana by just 0.001 seconds with a lap-record 1:34.314. For the first time this weekend at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Red Bull KTM Ajo did not go one-two but a P2 for Pedro Acosta and a P3 for World Championship leader Augusto Fernandez is a big tick for the latter, given his title rival Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) qualified fifth.
Three laps covered by a single thousandth of a second
Acosta was the pace-setter in both FP2 and FP3, and he started Q2 in the same fashion with a 1:34.972 on his opening flyer. Next time through, Lopez took over P1 with a 1:34.314 before Acosta fell just short of reclaiming top spot when he clocked a 1:34.315 – both under the All Time Lap Record. Incredibly, Lopez then went and set yet another 1:34.314, meaning he can boast two identical fastest laps of the session!
Meanwhile, after Ogura had closed in on Fernandez in FP3, he laid down the challenge by lapping quicker than the Spaniard in the early stages of Q2. The Championship-leading KTM Ajo pilot would ultimately earn third on the starting grid with a 1:34.481 but Ogura will start just one row behind after setting a 1:34.665 which was good enough for fifth. The title combatants are currently split by 9.5 points so, while the Japanese rider is the outsider, he is close enough to heap the pressure onto Fernandez in their bids for intermediate class glory.
How the rest of the top 10 looks
Between them on the timesheet is Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), who came from Q1 to take fourth on the grid with a 1:34.583. Sixth went to fellow Q1 graduate Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and seventh to Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), while Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools Speed Up) dusted himself off from a crash at Turn 2 to move up to eighth thanks to a 1:34.771 on his final lap. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) topped Q1 before securing a P9 starting berth and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) rounded out the top 10.
MotoGP™ is not the only class with a title still to be decided and the Moto2™ riders are back for their Sunday morning Warm Up at 09:20 (GMT +1), then the race itself gets underway at 12:20!
1. Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools Speed Up) – 1:34.314
2. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.001
3. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.167
4. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0.269
5. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 0.351
6. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.360
7. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) + 0.451
8. Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools Speed Up) + 0.457
9. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.459
10. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) + 0.552