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Moto2 Australia: Fall, then pole for Luthi in crash-filled qualifying

Tom Luthi was one of many fallers in cold conditions at Phillip Island, but came back to secure pole for the Australian Moto2 Grand Prix, as Zarco crashed twice and Rins ran out of fuel.
Tom Luthi found a way to keep heat in his tyres as most of the field fell during qualifying for the Australian Moto2 Grand Prix, with title rivals Zarco and Rins both suffering in different ways, halting their progress.

The Garage Plus Interwetten rider, arriving in Australia fresh from victory in Japan, was not immune to finding the grass around a cold Phillip Island, but his relatively gentle fall allowed him to regroup for another attack, handing the Swiss rider pole with a lap of 1m 33.992, the best of the weekend.

Mattia Pasini kept his Italtrans upright to ship away at his time to improve enough for second, his best qualifying performance in Moto2.

The front row is completed by Sam Lowes, twice a faller over the session, the Gresini rider kept his mechanics busy, but his last run in the closing minutes gave him third at the flag.

Sandro Cortese was topping the timesheets heading into the final runs out of the pits, but slipped to fourth for Dynavolt Intact GP.

The German is joined on row two by Jesko Raffin, the Swiss rider held provisional pole twice for the Sports-Millios-EMWE-SAG team before succumbing to cold tyres on his final run out of the pits. His fifth place eclipses his previous best qualifying of 18th place.

Jonas Folger remained spill-free on his way to sixth, joining his team-mate Cortese on the second row.

Xavi Vierge also impressed in the tough conditions as he picked off the places to finish in seventh for Tech 3, beating his previous best Moto2 qualifying by ten places.

Lorenzo Baldassarri found some late improvements to power to eighth for Forward, while Franco Morbidelli had to sit and watch his time slip to ninth after a fall from his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS machine.

Reigning champion Johann Zarco came off twice as he fought to run at the top of the timesheets, leaving the Ajo Motorsport man tenth in his hunt to retain the title.

Alex Rins, who sits second in the overall standings could only manage 16th, after battling his old injuries and the conditions the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider instead ran out of fuel as the clock ticked down.

Taka Nakagami was leading the way when he tried to hold on to his tumbling Idemitsu, he walked away holding his arm and took no further part, dropping the Japanese rider to twelfth.

Simone Corsi suffered the same fate, in provisional first before he and his Speed Up hit the grass, leaving the Italian 13th.

Danny Kent could only manage 22nd for Leopard Racing, while wild-card Ramdan Rosli (Petronas AHM Malaysia) also remained fall-free to finish 27th.

There were also crashes for, Robin Mulhauser, Isaac Vinales, Iker Lecuona, Axel Pons, Hafizh Syahrin, Remy Gardner, Julian Simon and Alex Marquez who tangled after the chequered flag and Alessandro Nocco who replaces Miguel Oliveira at Leopard.



by Lisa Lewis


Tagged as: moto2 , Luthi

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