Brad Binder found blistering pace at the close of the session to jump up the timesheets and collect his first Moto2 pole position ahead of the Aragon Grand Prix, round fourteen of the championship.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider- who has good memories of the Motorland track as it served as the backdrop for claiming his Moto3 title , which he won with four rounds to spare back in 2016 - found some rare late pace to storm to the top spot from a provisional tenth in the closing moments of the session with a best of 1m53.149s.

The South African set the fastest lap of the weekend to take top spot on the grid but it was an incredibly close session with all of the top nineteen within a second of his time.

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Marcel Schrotter had dominated until then but his early lap eventually had to give best to Binder, leaving him second, marking the Dynavolt Intact GP rider’s best qualifying performance of 2018.

The front row is completed by another Kalex machine - with Jorge Navarro keeping his upward trajectory going in third for Federal Oil Gresini - his best ever Moto2 qualifying result.

Navarro had the rare honour of posting exactly the same time as another rider, with Alex Marquez also exactly 0.108 off pole. The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider recovered well after being the first to crash, the front folding away at turn nine.

Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia couldn’t compete for pole, he finished fifth for Sky Racing Team VR46, and although just 0.126s off the top time, the vital thousandths eluded him as it remained tight at the top.

Bagnaia can still hope to increase his title lead from the second row as Miguel Oliveira had an even tougher time - the second Red Bull rider was not only beaten by his team-mate who took pole, but will have to chase down his Italian title rival from a distant 18th on the grid, despite getting lead around by Binder in the closing minutes.

Mattia Pasini recorded a solid sixth for Italtrans, with Fabio Quartararo climbing to seventh for Speed Up.

Lorenzo Baldassarri fills eighth on the grid as his final trip around the track failed to see him improve for Pons HP40. Simone Corsi takes ninth for Tasca Racing, with fellow Italian Luca Marini completing the top ten on the second Sky entry.

Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) just missed out taking eleventh despite a tumble at turn fifteen.

Elsewhere, Joan Mir was the best of the rookies in 15th for EG 0,0 Marc VDS and Edgar Pons put in a superb wildcard effort in 17th for AGR Team.

Sam Lowes had a quiet session - ending up 19th for Swiss Innovative Investors, he was however still the top Brit with Danny Kent claiming 24th on the grid for Speed Up.

Stefano Manzi (Forward Racing) placed 22nd, he had his third crash of the day in qualifying and still has a six place place grid penalty to be applied for his part in the incident with Fenati at Misano.

Xavi Cardelus, who has run as a wildcard at most of the season with Team Stylobike has been announced as Romano Fenati’s replacement at Marinelli Snipers, he will start 34th, one place behind Sheridan Morais (Willi Race Racing Team) who returns to wildcard again in Spain.

 

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