Ai Ogura timed his best run just right as the temperature rose in Jerez ahead of the Moto2 Spanish Grand Prix

The Idemitsu Honda tTeam Asia rider coped with the change in grip as the temperature change affected grip at the Angel Nieto Circuit at Jerez to claim his first intermediate class pole in qualifying for round six, the Spanish Grand Prix.

Ogura’s style sees him hang over the bike further than most helping to pick up time when grip diminishes. Running solo, the Japanese rider looked race ready as he clocked a best of 1m 41.289s. That came on his fifth lap as performance ebbed away and improvements became hard to come by, ensuring the #79 held on to a first pole in the class.

Tony Arbolino kept him in check on the timesheets and the track, latching on to the Idemitsu bike to use as a marker as he set the second best lap, just 0.010s slower for Elf Marc VDS.

 

 

A far more content Sam Lowes looked back to his best and was pleased enough with his performance to bust out a wheelie at the end of the session, despite suffering a dislocated his elbow in Portimao to add to his injury woes. He completes the first row of the grid, next to his team-mate, with both of their best times coming early on their third lap of the track.

Aron Canet put in a stellar effort to claim fourth and when it was clear times were not going to be bettered he pulled his Kalex back to the pits and sat out the final moments of the Q2 session.

 

Canet battles the pain barrier 

There are a whole host of riders nursing minor injuries following the multiple bike pile up that ended the first attempt to run the Moto2 Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend.

With very little time to recover all involved are riding battered and bruised, but none more so than Aron Canet.

Amongst the first arriving at the worst of the weather, the Flexbox HP40 rider suffered a fractured left radius and has already undergone arm surgery to have his injury pinned. 

Riding though in pain, the Spaniard has not slowed down, putting in as many laps as usual instead of taking it easy. 

Determination to succeed on home soil saw the Valencian ninth on the end of day one. As the pace picked up he didn’t let up and in FP3 a final push pulled him from 13th to third  - the lap was cancelled due to yellow flags but he held 13th, showing the pace needed and saving his body going through Q1. 

It was always going to be a big ask to be close to his pole performance from Portugal but bravely Canet pushed enough to claim fourth in qualifying, while be sensible enough to know when it was time to sit out when times were no longer dropping to give the best chance of progess in the race tomorrow.

Fermin Aldguer was in impressive form again as he held on to fifth, with only Ogura knocking him back a place after his early effort for Lightech Speed Up. The Spaniard was the best of the non-Kalex riders out on the circuit.

Championship leader Celestino Vietti had a fairly quiet session, carefully chipping away over his early laps for the sixth best time.

After easing through the first half of qualifying with the top time - one fast enough to have sent the Thai rider straight to Q2 had he managed it in practice, Somkiat Chantra kept plugging away, though his time was slower than the one he managed in Q1, showing the effect the track and tyre grip was having on the field. His effort was seventh best on the second Idemitsu entry, cementing a great Saturday for the team.

Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) was one of few to find some tenths in the track later in the session, climbing to eighth and using the knowledge gained by running in Q1 wisely, just faster then Augusto Fernandez in ninth for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

His rookie team-mate Pedro Acosta tried a different approach to the session - initially going out on used tyres before swapping while most opted for one long run. He moved up from 13th to tenth in the closing minutes.

Jake Dixon sees form leave him in crucial qualifying session.

Keen to wipe away the memory of falling from the lead in the restarted Portimao Grand Prix last weekend, Jake Dixon has attacked the weekend positively and arrived at qualifying dominant after topping all three practice sessions.

After several laps off pace trying to find clear track the Autosolar Aspar rider built into the session, but was still off the pace.

Pushing his Kalex to the limit while chasing the bikes ahead trying to narrow the deficit, the #96 suffered a late spill at turn five, ending any hopes of a dream start to his weekend. Dixon didn’t lose any places while in the gravel so lines up eleventh tomorrow.

It was a tough session for the team in general with Albert Arenas one place further back in twelfth after making a big effort to move up from Q1.

An early spill halted Jorge Navarro’s progress. Keen to keep making gains after his efforts in the first half of qualifying which saw him move on with the second best time, he had just set the then provisional pole before running off at turn one. The Flexbox HP40 rider did not return to track and that lap left him 13th.

Portugal winner Joe Roberts also had a day to forget, the Italtrans rider could only manage the 14th best time but was easily the best of the Americans with neither Cameron Beaubier or Sean Dylan Kelly making it out of Q1.

Local Andalucian rider Marcos Ramirez just missed out at a shot at pole, setting the 5th best time in Q2 will see him fill 19th on the grid for MV Agusta.

Keminth Kubo, who lined up last weekend for Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team after the red flag incident, is this week replaced by Stefano Manzi due to the after affects of the crash. He was 12th in Q1 for 26th on the grid.

Moto2 return on Sunday with warm-up at 8:20am (UK time) with their race back in the middle of the schedule at 11:20am