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Moto2 Valencia: Champion Rabat takes record pole

Esteve 'Tito' Rabat secured a record eleventh pole position in Saturday's Moto2 qualifying session for the Valencia Grand Prix, pipping Johann Zarco in the final minute.
Increasing wind at the Ricardo Tormo track made for tricky conditions for the Moto2 class in qualifying for the Valencia Grand Prix, but the weather couldn't hold back champion Tito Rabat as he snatched pole in the final minute.

After having already passed the Moto2 pole record earlier in the season his eleventh visit to the front spot on the grid means the Marc VDS rider now holds the all time intermediate class record, passing the ten poles set by Toni Mang (1981) and Jorge Lorenzo (2006).

Behind the Kalex man a disappointed Johann Zarco found himself pushed to second, just 0.043 behind for AirAsia Caterham on his Suter.

A solid performance cemented with a late personal best handed Italtrans rookie Franco Morbidelli his first front row start, a result he credited his track knowledge to having raced in Valencia last season.

A pair of Suters head up row two with early session leader Tom Luthi in fourth for Interwetten Sitag and Xavier Simeon fifth for Federal Oil Gresini.

An impressive, consistent performance saw Marcel Schrotter take sixth for Tech 3 with Jonas Folger narrowly missing out on the timesheets after a fast last lap saw him jump into seventh on the grid for AGR Team.

The battle for second in the championship will set off from row three with Maverick Vinales only able to manage eighth in a tight session for Paginas Amarillas HP 40 one place ahead of birthday boy Mika Kallio in ninth for Marc VDS.

Vinales team-mate Luis Salom completes the top ten fastest qualifiers.

Sam Lowes starts 14th for Speed Up while Gino Rea, who currently needs help on and off of his bike due to a broken foot starts 32nd.

Tetsuta Nagashima qualified last but has returned earlier than expected for Teluru Team JiR Webike after injuring himself at the Silverstone Moto2 round.

Moto2's wild-card Frenchman Lucas Mahias placed 24th on his Pormoto Sport Transfiormers.

Aspar's Jordi Torres was the first to fall, sending his bike smashing and spinning away at turn six after just twelve minutes. His mechanics did an amazingly fast job to allow him to return and qualify in 24th.

Robin Mulhauser also failed to finish the session without a crash falling from his Technomag carXpert bike 11 minutes later. He was followed a few minutes later by Sandro Cortese who was so keen to return he almost kicked the marshal pushing his Dynavolt Intact GP bike as he rejoined.

NGM Forward Racing's Florian Marino crashed in the final ten minutes.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: moto2 , Rabat

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