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Moto2 Japan: Relentless Rabat snatches pole in Motegi

Esteve 'Tito' Rabat denies Thomas Luthi of pole position for the Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix at Motegi.
Tito Rabat put in a unrelenting performance as he fixed his purpose on taking pole, finally reaching his goal for the eighth time this season on his 22nd attempt at Motegi's qualifying session for the Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix.

The Marc VDS rider was focused and determined setting a new best time for Moto2 at the track of 1m 50.854 after continually losing his advantage in the final sector. A final push aboard the Kalex machine increased his advantage before that point, covering his time loss by enough to deny Tom Luthi, the only rider to really trouble the championship leader this weekend.

Interwetten Sitag Suter rider Luthi had lead the way for most of the session having set the previous best lap on his ninth trip around the circuit, it remained his best effort leaving him 0.033 behind Rabat's pole time.

Johann Zarco also found consistent lapping to be the key as he gradually improved his time for third for AirAsia Caterham, though the Frenchman admitted race pace was a worry.

This seasons Moto2 rookie of the year, Maverick Vinales, looked equally disappointed with fourth. The Paginas Amarillas rider did a good job of making up for lost time after an early visit to the pits.

Joining the Spaniard on row two are the Second of the Marc VDS bikes, piloted by Mika Kallio in fifth following a late dash after a quiet session and the top qualifying Japanese rider at home Taka Nakagami in sixth for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

Italtrans' Julian Simon secured seventh on a feisty row three, he is joined by team-mate Franco Morbidelli in eighth and the continually improving Axel Pons, who used tow to great advantage on his way to ninth for AGR.

Marcel Schrotter completes the top ten best qualifiers for Tech 3.

Sam Lowes starts twelfth after making up places late on for Speed Up, fellow Brit Gino Rea's improvements to his AGT REA Racing bike saw him secure a 23rd start in a competitive field – all the top 18 riders were less than a second adrift of Rabat's top time.

The only crasher was Ratthpark Wilairot who sent his Caterham into the gravel late on. Luis Salom survived an off track wobble on his way to 25th.

Yuki Takahashi returns as a wild-card for Moriwaki in 24th . Thai rider Chalermpol Polamai also makes an appearance for Singha Eneos Yamaha Tech 3 and starts 34th.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: moto2 , Rabat

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