27 September 2014
Moto2 Aragon: First pole for Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales claimed pole position for the Aragon Moto2 Grand Prix from Johann Zarco, championship leader Tito Rabat crashes.
Class rookie Maverick Vinales claimed his first Moto2 pole by snatching the top spot late in qualifying for the Aragon Moto2 Grand Prix.
The Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider, expected to move to MotoGP with Suzuki next season, set a best time of 1m 54.073 on his penultimate lap, squeezing past Johann Zarco in a frantic final five minutes of track action.
It builds on a fantastic debut year in the class for the Spaniard who already has a race win under his belt after victory in Texas. His time was, however, slower than the best time from practice, also set by Vinales – a 1m 53.755s lap.
Just 0.051 slower was AirAsia Caterham rider Johann Zarco, who though disappointed to miss out on pole was happy his last good tyre had helped him to set a competitive time aboard his Suter.
Every thousandth was crucial as the top 21 riders were all within a second of the pole time.
Mika Kallio completes the front row for Marc VDS, placing his Kalex, who are already constructors champions for 2014, in third after improving his time consistently over the course of the session.
Franco Morbidelli continues to impress as his strong second half of the season continues, the Italtrans rider moved into fourth with some fast late laps, even though the Italian rookie was troubled by traffic.
Joining him on row two is championship leader Tito Rabat, who crashed his Marc VDS bike at turn twelve, sliding it up the slip road as his competitors picked up the pace, leaving him with a small elbow injury and fifth on the grid.
Sixth place went to Interwetten Paddock rider Tom Luthi.
Taka Nakagami seemed more confident on his way to seventh for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia. Also securing a third row start were Technomag carXpert rider Dominique Aegerter in eighth and Dynavolt Intact GP's Sandro Cortese in ninth.
Marcel Schrotter just managed to slide his Tech 3 machine inside the top ten.
Speed Up responded to Sam Lowes request for change, now running Ohlins parts but the British rider failed to capitalise on this and will start from 20th.
There were also changes for fellow Brit Gino Rea who had a new chassis for qualifying. The AGT REA rider qualified 24th.
Nico Terol, last year's pole-sitter and winner, continued his return by qualifying 22nd for the Mapfre Aspar Team on his 26th Birthday.
Kenny Noyes replaces Nagashima this weekend for Teluru Team JiR Webike and starts 34th .
Jordi Torres was the first to fall as he lost the front of his Aspar but only moments before Ratthapark Wilairot did the same travelling for an age along the ground under his AirAsia Caterham before walking away unharmed.
Torres left himself enough time to recover for 13th, Wilairot starts 27th after his mechanics worked hard to return the bike to the track.
The only other crash came at the close when Luis Salom sent his bike spinning away, though the Spaniard had already done enough for 15th on the grid.
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