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San Marino Moto2: Espargaro snatches late Misano pole

Pol Espargaro took pole position in Saturday's qualifying session for the San Marino Moto2 Grand Prix, his fourth of the season.
By Lisa Lewis

Pol Espargaro's last lap snatched pole in the Moto2 qualifying session at Misano on Saturday, ahead of his Tuenti HP 40 team-mate Tito Rabat by a gap of just 0.032 seconds.

So far this season Espargaro has gone on to convert all his pole starts into wins. He will be aiming to maintain his record with his fourth pole of the year and reduce Scott Redding's points lead in the World Championship standings.

Pace setters for the session Espargaro, Rabat and Takaaki Nakagami took turns to top the timesheets with the final five minutes holding the real action in the shuffle for position.

As many struggled to find track space Rabat's early lap which had been the benchmark looked solid as his rivals hit traffic, but eventually the Spaniard had to settle for second when Espargaro found a good rhythm on his new tyre, which he was full of praise for after claiming he needed to give “200%” to finish on top.

There was little to choose between the front row riders with Nakagami sealing his fourth consecutive front row start, after taking the last two poles, while still in the hunt for first Moto2 win.

The Italtrans riders third place also gave Kalex a lock-out of the front row.

Luthi continues to find his form after a slow recovery from his pre-season Valencia crash and will be aiming for another podium finish from fourth after finishing third for Interwetten Paddock at the last two rounds. The Swiss rider was also the top placed Suter on the grid.

Fresh from his win at Silverstone, Scott Redding arrives at Misano with a 38 point lead and will look to consolidate his championship position from the second row after qualifying in fifth after hitting traffic several times during qualifying, giving a little advantage back to the chasing Espargaro.

A late charge saw Belgian rider Xavier Simeon move into sixth slot for the Maptaq SAG Zelos Team.

The third row is headed up by Johann Zarco for the Came Iodaracing Project in seventh. He is joined by Julian Simon on the second of the Italtrans machines in eighth and the continually improving Marcel Schrotter on the second Maptaq bike in ninth.

Dominique Aegerter will look to maintain his amazing points scoring run form tenth on the grid for Technomag carXpert.

Mattia Pasini crashed with 12 minutes remaining but held on for eleventh on the grid aboard his NGM Mobile Racing bike and remained the best of the Speed Up riders.

Danny Kent took 13th on the grid for the Tech3 team, his time putting him just behind Austin race winner Nico Terol in 12th, but ahead of his Aspar colleague Jordi Torres, also winner in Germany, who is 14th on the grid, illustrating Kent's progress with the bike.

Fellow Briton Gino Rea has another wild-card ride and qualifies in 21st despite carrying a wrist injury.

Tagged as: Espargaro

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