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Moto2: Espargaro storms to pole in Japan

13 October 2012

By Lisa Lewis

Tuenti Movil HP 40 rider Pol Espargaro put his Kalex at the front of the pack in Motegi with a new fastest pole position lap time of 1m50.886 set at the end of the session. It is his fifth pole of the season.

Espargaro said after qualifying that he had been “confused with the set-up” earlier in the weekend but had overcome his chatter issues and will “push 100% to get points for the championship” in Sunday's race.

Marc Marquez found himself +0.137 behind after his Catalunya Caixa Repsol Suter had held the top spot for most of the session until the track got busy towards the end and said in the press conference that he is “not happy 100%” with his bike and he expects to be challenged by the Kalex riders as he feels they are better suited to the track.

Espargaro's team mate Tito Rabat was fast in his own right all session putting him on the front row in third.

After a podium finish in Aragon Marc VDS rider Scott Redding heads up the second row after qualifying his Kalex fourth.

Tom Luthi qualified fifth for the Interwetten-Paddock team while Johann Zarco starts from sixth for JIR.

Bradley Smith showed a welcome return to form for Tech3 and after some fast practice performances qualified seventh.

Also qualifying well was Julian Simon in eighth for Blusens, while fellow former 125cc champion Nico Terol starts from ninth for the Mapfre Aspar Team.

Toni Elias started his Italtrans campaign after filling the seat vacated by Claudio Corti with a top ten start for tomorrows race, just ahead of his new team mate Takaaki Nakagami in eleventh, the highest qualifying home rider.

Aragon pole-sitter Simone Corsi starts from twelfth for Ioda, Alex Pons 13th for the Tuenti Movil HP 40 team and Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi 14th for Forward racing.

Marc VDS rider and previous winner at Motegi Mika Kallio appeared affected by his controversial collision with Marquez in the morning practice session, where along with extensive damage to his bike he also lost some skin from his elbow. He qualified 15th.

Andrea Iannone has been off the pace in Japan and a late crash left him down in 18th in the standings for Speed Master.

Dominique Aegerter's 100th Grand Prix start will be from 19th for the Technomag CIP Team, he takes the title of the youngest Swiss rider to hit the milestone from Luthi.

British Rider Gino Rea's Federal Oil Gresini Suter had difficulty starting, leaving him down in 28th for Sunday's race.

Qualifying:

1. Pol Espargaro SPA (Kalex) 1m 50.886s
2. Marc Marquez SPA (Suter) 1m 51.023s
3. Esteve Rabat SPA (Kalex) 1m 51.156s
4. Scott Redding GBR (Kalex) 1m 51.273s
5. Thomas Luthi SWI (Suter) 1m 51.481s
6. Johann Zarco FRA (MotoBI) 1m 51.640s
7. Bradley Smith GBR (Tech 3) 1m 51.736s
8. Julian Simon SPA (Suter) 1m 51.740s
9. Nicolas Terol SPA (Suter) 1m 51.977s
10. Toni Elias SPA (Kalex) 1m 51.980s
11. Takaaki Nakagami JPN (Kalex) 1m 52.038s
12. Simone Corsi ITA (FTR) 1m 52.052s
13. Axel Pons SPA (Kalex) 1m 52.061s
14. Yuki Takahashi JPN (FTR) 1m 52.098s
15. Mika Kallio FIN (Kalex) 1m 52.223s
16. Jordi Torres SPA (Suter) 1m 52.239s
17. Alex De Angelis RSM (FTR) 1m 52.309s
18. Andrea Iannone ITA (Speed Up) 1m 52.353s
19. Dominique Aegerter SWI (Suter) 1m 52.536s
20. Anthony West AUS (Speed Up) 1m 52.686s
21. Ricard Cardus SPA (AJR) 1m 52.781s
22. Xavier Simeon BEL (Tech 3) 1m 52.921s
23. Mike Di Meglio FRA (Kalex) 1m 53.180s
24. Marcel Schrotter GER (Bimota) 1m 53.182s
25. Ratthapark Wilairot THA (Suter) 1m 53.206s
26. Alessandro Andreozzi ITA (Speed Up) 1m 53.256s
27. Tomoyoshi Koyama JPN (Suter) 1m 53.299s
28. Gino Rea GBR (Suter) 1m 53.413s
29. Kohta Nozane JPN (FTR) 1m 53.505s
30. Jesko Raffin SWI (Kalex) 1m 54.352s
31. Elena Rosell SPA (Speed Up) 1m 54.674s
32. Eric Granado BRA (MotoBI) 1m 55.057s


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