Gardner qualifies 14th as Lowes takes Misano Moto2 pole
Sunday 24th October, 2021 - 1:47am
Sam Lowes has claimed pole for the Emilia Romagna Moto2 Grand Prix while Remy Gardner could only qualify 14th.
Gardner’s Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate and sole championship rival, Raul Fernandez, also struggled, but still ended up ninth despite a crash in Qualifying 2 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Raul Fernandez had been shuffled back to eighth when he had his tumble at Turn 2, during his second run, at which point Gardner was only 15th.
The Australian did find time after the chequered flag, but scarcely enough given the 1:37.825s could only promote #87 to 14th.
It was a cool Misano when the grid for the intermediate class was set, and Jorge Navarro (+Ego speed Up) was fastest initially on a 1:38.017s.
He consolidated that with a 1:36.683s next time around and while Raul Fernandez briefly held second spot, it was Elf Marc VDS duo Lowes and Augusto Fernandez who were proving the bigger threats for pole.
Lowes set a 1:37.034s to move into second position on his third flyer and Augusto Fernandez a 1:37.025s on his fifth, before the latter improved further to a 1:36.744s.
Aron Canet (Aspar) provisionally got onto the front row with a 1:36.950s in the 12th minute, and Lowes clocked a 1:36.551s in the 14th minute to grab top spot.
There was a question mark over whether or not yellow flags were still out when the Briton transited Sector 4 on that lap but that is academic given he went on to record a 1:36.510s after the chequered flag.
Navarro got as quick as a 1:36.555s to take second on the grid, with Augusto Fernandez third.
Augusto Fernandez also earned the ire of Canet as they took the chequered flag, the Aspar rider apparently upset at a perception that he was held up on his final lap.
Canet ended up fourth, ahead of Celestino Vietti (Sky VR46), Marcos Ramirez (American Racing), Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP40), Albert Arenas (Aspar), Raul Fernandez, and Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia).
Marco Bezzecchi (Sky VR46) is set to start 24th after crashing and not making it out of Qualifying 1.
A crash in Q2 is under investigation after Jake Dixon’s bike nearly hit marshals who were already attending to a spill for his Petronas Sprinta team-mate Xavi Vierge at Turn 15.
Vierge qualified 16th and Dixon 17th.
The 25-lap Moto2 race is due to start on Sunday at 21:20 AEDT.