Malaysian Moto2: Aldeguer back on pole, title chance from sixth for Acosta

Early laps were crucial to make the most of the Sepang track, with Fermin Aldeguer timing it right for his third pole in a row ahead of the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix.
Celestino Vietti, Fermin Aldeguer, Manuel Gonzalez, Moto2, Malaysian MotoGP, 11 November
Celestino Vietti, Fermin Aldeguer, Manuel Gonzalez, Moto2, Malaysian…

The temperature rose in Malaysia, and not just because of the next title shot for Pedro Acosta piling pressure on Tony Arbolino.

The hot, sticky conditions continued to become more difficult, leading to the best laps being set early in qualifying for the Moto2 Malaysian grand prix, round eighteen of the championship.

The Speed Up rider’s best, a 2m 05.288s lap, came on just his second run around the track and first flying lap. Timed to perfection, the Boscoscuro rider held a gap of over half a second over the rest to claim his third consecutive pole position.



Celestino Vietti was the best of the rest, 0.502s behind. The Fantic rider crashed out late on pushing on to try and better his time and get closer to the Spaniard.

The final front row slot went to Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago yamaha VR46 Team) his first time there since the Indonesian round, showing the #18 is back to his best.

Aron Canet was fourth fastest but a spill from his Pons bike at turn four while Vietti was already in the gravel is expected to pick up a penalty. The incident was already under investigation before the conclusion of the session.

Marcos Ramirez continued his upturn in form with the fifth best time for American racing.

Acosta’s title shot to launch from sixth.

Pedro Acosta had not been firing ahead on his arrival in Sepang, maybe understandable considering his last appearance at the track saw him convert eighth on the grid to a DNF.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider still holds all the cards, able to finish as low as fourth even if Tony Arbolino goes on to win the race.

Arbolino himself made hard work of getting in through, with his sixth visit to Q1 needed to get to the second session for the chance of a grid advantage.

A determined run on the Elf Marc VDS bike saw him become one of the last to improve, moving into seventh just behind Acosta.The Italian can take heart from his performance at Sepang in 2022, where he converted second on the grid to a win.

Jake Dixon also made his inde GasGas Aspar work hard to move up from twelfth to eighth as the clock ticked down.

Somkiat Chantra placed ninth for Idemitsu Team Honda, well ahead of his teammate Ai Ogura ,who was a lacklustre 13th. Joe Roberts progressed through Q1 to complete the top ten.

Sam Lowes was pushed back to eleventh on the second Marc VDS bike, with Sergio Garcia the best of the rookies for Pons Wegow Los 40 in twelfth.

Alonso Lopez again couldn’t do with the Boscoscuro what his pole-sitting teamate managed, leaving him down in 15th.

A crash for Filip Salac saw him unable to progress past 18th for Gresini.

What happened in Q1?

Arbolino eased through with the second fastest time of the weekend. The Italian was joined in Q2 by Albert Arenas, Taiga Hada (17th) and Joe Roberts.

Dennis Foggia was in a position to climb out of fifth for Italtrans, but found himself behind his teammate Joe Roberts, who pulled out ahead as the rider sat in fourth, unwilling to give him the help into Q2 to take his place.

Zonta van den Goorbergh fell in the session, leaving him sixth, for 20th on the grid.

Rory Skinner continued his difficult transition from BSB with American Racing in 26th.

Injuries and replacements

Izan Guevara suffered a nasty fall, right at the start of P3, brining out the red flag. The Aspar rider left the track on a stretcher, holding his arm and was taken to the medical centre for a check-up.

The Spaniard lined up for Q1, placing eleventh in the session for 25th.

The same session saw a second red flag, to repair the air fence after Darryn Binder ended up sending his Kalex flying into it at turn one. The South African was sent to the medical centre for checks on his right hand after he barrel rolled through the gravel alongside his bike.

Binder did not return for qualifying.

Alberto Surra is the only regular rider out in Malaysia. He is replaced by Sean Dylan Kelly (27th) at the Forward Team.

There are two additional wildcard riders on the grid for home grand Prix rides. Debutant Helmi Azman (31st) and Azroy Anuar (29th) are the extra riders,  both for Petronas MIE Racing RW.

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