In a competitive session record pace was needed and Alonso Lopez went fastest on the limit to claim pole for the Moto2 Valencia Grand Prix, the final round of the championship.

The Beta Tools Speed Up has continued to impress since arriving as Romano Fenati’s replacement but a pole had eluded him.

The Spaniard spent the session duelling for the top spot with Pedro Acosta as they responded to each others best times.

It was Lopez who first broke the old record, held by Stefano Manzi, and it held firm so the Spaniard returned to the pits for a spell.

He took the honours back from Acosta with a solo best of 1m 34.314s, a time which he equalled exactly on his final fast lap on the Boscoscuro.

With the duo pushing, Acosta lit up red sectors all around the track but came up short - by just 0.001s.

Title battle starts from third and fifth

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will line up nest to his team-mate, championship leader Augusto Fernandez. The #37 holds the advantage on the grid over rival Ai Ogura, who looked tense as he pushed hard to climb up from eighth to fifth in the final minutes of the session.

That gives the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider hope of catching and passing Fernandez after putting himself under pressure and on the chase after his DNF in Malaysia.

The duo are split by Sepang race winner Tony Arbolino, who needed to come through Q1 first, then chipped away at his time all session to finish fourth on the Elf Marc VDS bike.

Joe Roberts left it late to move into the progression slots and started how he left off to improve further and take sixth on the grid, shuffled back by Ogura’s late improvements, for Italtrans.

Flexbox HP40 rider Aron Canet set the seventh quickest time. Fermin Aldeguer crashed early in the session while chasing the time of early leader Acosta. A quick turnaround by his mechanics at Beta Tools Speed Up saw him back out before the end of Q2 and able for one final fast run which pulled the #54 from 15th to eighth.

Celestino Vietti moved on from Q1 with the top time after a practice crash saw him in the session as his season continued to curtail itself. After finding pace in Q1 the Mooney VR46 rider saw his progress stagnate, finishing ninth.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta held on for a top ten start as the chequered flag waved on the second Italtrans entry.

Albert Arenas improved late on to move into eleventh for Inde GasGas Aspar. He was well ahead of team-mate Jake Dixon who after showing good pace all weekend seemed to opt for a long stay out on the same tyre, possibly to give more options come the race, but dropping him to 15th in qualifying.


What happened in Q1?


Vietti, Arbolino, Gonzalez and Roberts all moved on, the late laps from the latter two knocked out Senna Agius who in fifth will line up in 19th and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) who starts 20th.

Marcel Schrotter will start his last Moto2 race before leaving for the World Supersport championship in 22nd after finishing Q1 in eighth.

Simone Corsi qualiified for what could be his last grand prix as a full time rider in 26th with MV Agusta Forward Racing.

Injuries, absentees and wildcards


Barry Baltus remains absent following the collision he had with Aron Canet. He is replaced at RW Racing GP by the highly experienced Mattia Pasini (17th).

Sam Lowes also misses the final race, Agius returns to ride his Elf Marc VDS bike.

Borja Gomez (21st) replaces Jorge Navarro again after sitting in at Sepang on the Flexbox HP40 bike, Navarro fractured his femur at Phillip Island, leading to an extended hospital stay in Australia.

Eric Escrig, 2021 CEV Superstock champion and a MotoE rider this season, finishing ninth, has a wildcard ride with MV Agusta Forward Racing. The only faller in Q1, the Spanish rider starts 24th.