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Austin Moto2: Rabat snatches pole in Texas

Esteve 'Tito' Rabat takes pole position in Saturday's qualifying session for the Moto2 Grand Prix of the Americas from Austin, Texas.
A determined Tito Rabat left it late to secure his second pole of the season, with the Marc VDS rider nudging ahead on his final lap as the clock counted down at the Circuit of the Americas.

The Spaniard made sure of his pole with a time of 2m 10.135 aboard his Kalex, meaning a trio of lap records fell in Austin's qualifying sessions as he bettered Scott Redding's lap time from last year.

Rabat also comfortably out-qualified his team-mate with Mika Kallio, a surprising eleventh on the grid.

Top Suter rider Johann Zarco had dominated the session, also having held the best time around COTA before being bettered by Rabat.

Riding for the British based Caterham outfit, the Frenchman was just 0.266 off giving the team them their first pole after joining the Moto2 paddock this season.

Dominique Aegerter shrugged off his rare DNF from Qatar with a front row start, third for the Technomag carXpert team, ready to see 'who will take the chequered flag first' in tomorrows race.

Belgian Xavier Simeon climbed the order late in the session for Gresini and heads up the second row in fourth.

He is joined by Julian Simon in fifth who quietly improved aboard his Italtrans all the way to the flag.

Reigning Moto3 champion Maverick Vinales continued his solid start in Moto2 taking his Pons HP 40 to sixth on the grid, building on his fourth place in Qatar, making him the top rookie in qualifying.

Jonas Folger starts from seventh for the AGR Team with Forward KLX rider Simone Corsi also hitting a third row start in eighth position.

Taka Nakagami will be looking to put his Qatar disqualification behind him from ninth on the grid, while an impressive string of laps from Marcel Schrotter for Tech 3 sees him round out the top ten qualifiers.

Sam Lowes couldn't capitalise on his great Qatar performance – his sixth place was best British rookie result for 40 years – The Speed Up racer still managed a credible 17th on the grid on his Austin debut.

Gino Rea did not make it to the end of the session without a fall from his AGT REA Racing Suter, completing just three laps left the Briton down in 34th and last place.

Nico Terol, who won the Texas round last year, found his good form at American tracks deserted him. The Mapfre Aspar rider struggled at the circuit where he won by a margin of three seconds to on the grid last year and sits way down the grid in 26th.

A rare crash from Tom Luthi saw him sideways into the gravel at turn 19 heading into the last ten minutes leaving him in 13th after a strong start to the session.

Sandro Cortese also failed to go the distance, colliding with Mattia Pasini, though both riders continued only for the German rider to fall just a few corners later.

Also crashing late on were Axel Pons and Randy Krummenacher.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: moto2 , Rabat

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