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Moto2: Espargaro on Valencia pole despite a crash

10 November 2012

By Lisa Lewis

Pol Espargaro took the last Moto2 pole of the season for Tuenti Movil HP 40 (Kalex) at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia on Saturday.

The Spaniard was furious with himself after crashing between turns four and five with 11 minutes remaining and damaging the bike too badly to take any further part in qualifying.

However his time of 1m 35.191 stood and gave him a new pole record, 0.950s faster than the previous effort set by Toni Elias in 2010.

It is Espargaro's eighth pole of the season and his fourth in a row.

Newly crowned champion Marc Marquez set the second fastest time with a late dash putting him +0.406 behind title runner-up Espargaro, but will start from the back of the grid after receiving a penalty for his collision with Simone Corsi during second practice.

Having already proven to be capable of winning from the tail end after his masterful Japan win, if Marquez can pull off the same feat on Sunday it would give him the highest points total of all time for a intermediate class season, a record currently held by Daijiro Kato from the 2001 250cc Championship.

Marquez crashed at turn two with five minutes remaining and had also been off in the final practice session earlier today. In the press conference he promised to "make something crazy" to score a good race result.

Third fastest was Interwetten-Paddock Suter rider Tom Luthi, who snatched the position with his last dash to the line from Italtrans rider Takaaki Nakagami. The Japanese rider will start on the front row when Marquez's penalty is taken into account.

Mapfre Aspar had a good showing at their home track with Nico Terol, who has a ceremony to officially name turn four after him on Sunday morning, finishing the session in fifth and his team-mate Jordi Torres sixth.

Dominique Aegerter qualified seventh for Technomag - last year he scored a podium from the same position on the grid.

Scott Redding will be aiming to add to his highest ever points tally for an intermediate class British rider, after finishing the session in eighth for Marc VDS Kalex.

Simone Corsi claimed ninth place for Ioda Racing, as the highest placed FTR rider, while Andrea Iannone made the top ten for the Speed Master (Speed Up) team in the last qualifying session before he, Marquez and Bradley Smith move to MotoGP.

Still less than a second away from the fastest time were Johann Zarco (JIR Motobi) and Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia) who closed out the session in 11th and 12th places.

Gino Rea will be looking for a repeat of his good form in the wet if the forecast for Sunday rain proves accurate. He finished the session in 20th for Federal Oil Gresini Honda - ahead of fellow Brit Smith who qualified in 22th for Tech3.

Mattia Pasini, who is riding for Forward Racing in place of the injured Alex de Angelis was 23rd. Axel Pons endured a massive crash near the entrance to pit lane but escaped unharmed after evasive action from the other riders.

Ant West, who is serving a one month ban for his doping result from the Le Mans round, has been replaced at QMMF by Indonesian rookie Rafid Topan Sucipto who qualified in 31st.


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