Stefano Manzi picked up the pace to reclaim his position at the top of the timesheets and take pole for the Moto2 Valencia Grand Prix.

The MV Agusta Forward Racing rider had lead heading into the final flying laps before being pushed back to third.

With a front row start converted to a fourth place finish at Ricardo Tormo last season to his credit, the Spaniard rallied to try to keep his front row slot to aim for more success at Valencia this season. Manzi pushed so hard on his final run that he took pole with a best of 1m 34.418s - a new lap record.

It not only brings Manzi his first career pole but also MV Agusta’s first in the intermediate class. It also marks the first time the manufacturer has lead a race away in any class since the 350cc race in Le Mans in 1976 where Giacomo Agostini sat on pole.

Hector Garzo lead briefly before Manzi made his comeback to top the timesheets again, the Kalex man was only 0.013s slower for Flexbox HP 40 - his best ever qualifying performance.

 

The front row is completed by Marco Bezzecchi for Sky Racing VR 46, who held on to third.

Fabio Di Gianantonio also toped the timesheets briefly in the closing stages before being shuffled back to fourth for MV Conveyors Speed Up.

Jorge Martin claimed fifth for Red Bull KTM Ajo after moving up from Q1. His time just held off top rookie Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing). Aron Canet, who leads the rookie standings didn’t make it out of Q1, he starts 20th.

Marcel Schrotter starts seventh for Liqui Moly Intact GP, ahead of another Q1 graduate Lorenzo Baldasssarri who topped that session on his way to eighth on the second Flexbox entry.

Bo Bendsneyder set the early pace on his NTS RW Racing machine before being pushed back to ninth, Luca Marini, still in with a title shout, beat both the men ahead of him in the championship chase to line up on the grid in tenth on the second Sky bike.

Veteran Simone Corsi powered thorugh Q1 with fellow long term championship rider Tom Luthi, he claimed eleventh on the second MV Agusta.

Championship leader Enea Bastianini was not far off the pace in a tight session - all of the top fourteen were within half a second of the pole time, but couldn’t find the thousandths necessary to claim higher than twelfth on the grid for Italtrans.

His closest rival Sam Lowes arrived at qualifying battered and bruised after a huge crash in FP3 saw him need a trip to the medical centre - the Brit was hit in the face by his bike as they both tumbled through the gravel.

It was his right wrist which had the worst of the impact though, and although swollen and bandaged up, he chipped away at his lap times, dropping it on every lap. Despite giving all he had the EG 0,0 Marc VDS man was back of the bunch in Q2, so will sit in 18th on the grid.

Xavi Vierge claimed pole last weekend but could not repeat the feat - he is 13th this time around at Valencia on the sole Petronas Sprinta entry with Jake Dixon absent through injury.

On the eve of his 300th grand prix start Luthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) could only generate enough speed to claim 17th spot on Sunday.

Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) just missed out on a move up to Q2, already suffering with a stomach bug, the Australian was one of the first riders back to his pit box. Sat in the progression positions he could only watch as faster laps from both Corsi and Luthi saw him drop to fifth in the session - which translates to 19th position.