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German Moto2: Debut pole for Simeon, Redding struggles

Xavier Simeon steals pole position in Saturday's qualifying session for the German Moto2 Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
By Lisa Lewis

Belgian Xavier Simeon took the first pole position of his GP career with a perfect final lap in the closing seconds of qualifying.

Desguaces La Torre Maptaq rider Simeon, who scored his first ever podium with a third place in Le Mans, shocked in the dying seconds as the championship frontrunners saw their closing laps swallowed by traffic and errors at the German circuit.

Simeon becomes the first Belgian to start from pole since Didier de Radigues in the 250cc Spa-Francorchamps race in 1989.

Every hundreth counted as the top 21 riders were all within a second of the pole time of 1m 24.665.

Also finding himself on the front row for the first time was Mapfre Aspar rider Jordi Torres in second. The current Spanish Moto2 champion had been on the pace all weekend and had topped FP3 earlier in the day before jostling for the pole time in qualifying with Pol Espargaro before both were beaten to the top spot by Simeon.

Tuenti HP 40 rider Espargaro held on to the final spot on the front row. Both men were comfortably ahead of their team-mates with Aspar rider Nico Terol in 12th and Tito Rabat qualifying in 23rd after struggling with pain in his left ankle from his crash in FP3 at turn 11, which left him limping when not aboard his Pons machine. Axel Pons was one place behind in 24th.

The second row had a more familiar feel to it with a late dash from Interwetten Paddock man Tom Luthi moving him up the order into fourth. He is joined by the top Speed Up rider - Forward Racing's Simone Corsi in fifth and Italtrans racer Julian Simon in sixth.

Simon's team-mate Takaaki Nakagami, who returns after missing Assen with a collarbone injury, starts seventh ahead of the Marc VDS pair of championship leader Scott Redding and Mika Kallio who start from eighth and ninth respectively despite promising performances over the weekend.

Redding had been the fastest rider after practice on Friday whereas Kallio had been in the top three for the early part of the qualifying session.

Forward Racing rider Alex De Angelis took the final spot inside the top ten after aborting his penultimate lap and a big moment while looking fast in the closing seconds.

Marcel Schrotter was the top placing German rider for his home Grand Prix in for the Desguaces La Torre SAG team and starts in 13th place on the grid.

Wild-card rider Gino Rea was the best of the rest of the Brits with an impressive 17th on the grid aboard his privateer Gino Rea Race Team FTR bike.

Danny Kent starts from 22nd on the grid for Tech3 while Kyle Smith is 29th, one place behind his Blusens Avintia team-mate Toni Elias, the former Moto2 champion.




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Pol Espargaro, Smith, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2014.
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Smith, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2014.

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