More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Lowes denies Gardner for second Losail pole
The Brit makes it two from two, but this time it’s Gardner in close company as the two prepare for another showdown
Last weekend’s race winner Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) once again brought his A-game to the table when it mattered at the TISSOT Grand Prix of Doha, with the British rider and Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) going head-to-head for pole position and the number 22 coming out on top. Lowes’ 1:59.055 sees him head the grid by nearly a tenth and a half, but with Gardner in second on take two in the desert it’s the man who proved Lowes’ closest rival last weekend starting right alongside him. Another familiar face from the fight at the front in the Qatar GP, Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46), completes the front row in P3.
There was early drama in Moto2™ Q1 as Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) missed out on a place in the top four, with reigning Moto3™ World Champion Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team) slamming in a personal best lap on his final flyer that was good enough for P3. That demoted Vierge to P5 and out of Q2. Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) topped the first part of qualifying with a 1:59.592 though, moving through ahead of Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), Arenas and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing).
Gardner was the early pacesetter once Q2 got underway, but the times were down on Q1’s best efforts. Red sectors then lit up the timing screens as a big reshuffle took place, with Aron Canet (Solunion Aspar Team) leading the field from Bendsneyder. Bezzecchi took control of the session next with a 1:59.736, but the times would tumble again.
Gardner hit back, Lowes did the same and Dixon made his way up into second. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) soon split the Brits to grab P2, but the Free Practice pacesetter was three tenths down on Lowes – and just 0.002s ahead of Dixon. Fighting back, Bezzecchi slipped into P2 with just over two minutes left, before Gardner muscled his way back into second. A red second split then popped up for Gardner as Lowes backed out, so all eyes turned to the number 87…
Gardner was also up in Sector 3, but could he keep it going all the way to the line? Not quite! The Aussie just lost ground and despite improving his time, pole went to Lowes for the second week in a row. After Gardner started much further back on his way to second in the Qatar GP however, a front row is mission partly accomplished, as it is for Bezzecchi in P3.
Raul Fernandez ends his second Moto2™ qualifying session in P4, another fantastic job by the rookie, and he’s joined on Row 2 by Q1 graduate Dixon. A late charge from rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) seals a brilliant P6 for the Japanese rider as he makes a big leap up the timesheets on take two in Doha, even getting the better of third place Qatar GP finisher Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) as the Italian is forced to head up Row 3. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Canet slot in behind Diggia, with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completing the top 10 in Q2.
Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP 40), Arenas, Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), American rookie Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) and Bendsneyder complete the fastest 15 on Saturday.
The grid is set and so is the stage. Can Gardner, Bezzecchi or anyone else stop Lowes from making it two out two at Losail? We’ll find out on Sunday at 18:20 local time (GMT+3)!
More, from a press release issued by Italtrans Racing:
Joe Roberts starts from the 3rd row in 8th position.
24th position for Lorenzo Dalla Porta.
Second weekend in a row for the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.
A sandstorm with winds reaching 40km/h and a large amount of dust accumulating on the track awaited the Italtrans Racing Team riders today: these adverse conditions during the last free practice session prevent the team to make further setting improvement.
After combined free practice, Joe Roberts went straight to Q2 improving his time and finishing the qualifying 8th with a best lap of 1’59″727. Tomorrow, the American rider will start from the 3rd row of the grid with the aim of fighting for the top positions.
Unfortunately, Lorenzo Dalla Porta didn’t make it thru Q1, struggling with the adverse weather conditions and penalized rear tyre grip. With a best laptime of 2’00”581 he will start 24th on the grid.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta
24° | 2’00”581
“It’s not the qualifying we expected. I was too slow compared to last week because of the wind and a bad tyre. Now we need to make a reset to start again more confident: we have the potential to do well and I’ll give my best in the race”.
8° | 1’59”727
“I’m not completely satisfied with today’s qualifying: we have to find a better setup with the wind, anyway, I’m feeling really positive and confident for tomorrow. We can battle for a good position. The pace was strong in free practice so we are ready to go racing”
Giovanni Sandi, Technical Director:
“We have not been very performing in qualifying: we decided to not risk too much because of the bad conditions, moreover we had a not performing tyre. Anyway, we have worked well in view of tomorrow and we can fight for good positions. I hope we can have a good race”.
More, from a press release issued by American Racing Team:
Cameron Beaubier aims for top 10 Moto2 finish on Sunday in Qatar
Injured American Racing teammate Marcos Ramirez looks toward Portugal round
DOHA, Qatar (April 3, 2021) — Cameron Beaubier will start Sunday’s Grand Prix of Doha, the second round the FIM Moto2 World Championship, from the middle of the 28-rider grid.
The 28-year-old Californian qualified 14th, a marked improvement from his eighth-row series debut a week ago at the 16-turn, 3.34-mile Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
“I was looking for a little more in qualifying, to be honest,” said Beaubier. “It was tough with the wind. I didn’t nail any great laps, but on a positive note, we improved from last week. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Twenty-first in Free Practice 1 on Friday, Beaubier was 14th in FP2, allowing him to bypass Qualifying 1 and transfer directly to Q2.
The wind picked up on Saturday, blowing fine sand across the track. Beaubier was sixth in FP3, for the first time finishing a practice session in front of fellow American Joe Roberts, who holds the all-time Moto2 lap record at Losail.
American Racing Race Director John Hopkins is elated with the speed in which Beaubier has adapted to the Moto2-spec 765cc Triumph engine and Kalex chassis. Both represent significant departures from the liter-class Yamaha YZF-R1 that Beaubier raced in MotoAmerica Superbike competition.
“Cameron is a world-class rider,” said Hopkins. “There was a huge learning curve. He had to make a lot of changes to his riding. He is surprising us, but I know he has it in him to even go further and continually progress.”
For the second consecutive weekend, Marc VDS rider Sam Lowes will start from pole position. Lowes also won the first race and leads the championship. Beaubier is 11th in the points standings.
Beaubier’s teammate, Marcos Ramirez, is not riding this weekend. The 23-year-old Spaniard crashed in qualifying for the season-opening race and fractured the humeral head of his right arm.
Ramirez underwent additional medical checks this week. He will be rechecked in two weeks at the Algarve International Circuit, host of the Grand Prix of Portugal.
“After FP3, we felt we could do better in qualifying,” said Eitan Butbul, American Racing team owner. “Since Marcos is not riding, the entire team worked on Cameron’s side to prepare the bike and the strategy.
“We are happy with the result, and we can see the progress from last week. I am sure Cameron will be strong in the race.”
About the American Racing Team
The American Racing Team is owned by Avner Kass and Eitan Butbul and competes in the FIM MotoGP World Championship. Based in California, the team fields two riders in the Moto2 class: American Cameron Beaubier (No. 6) and Spaniard Marcos Ramirez (No. 42). American Racing has grown under Butbul’s guidance and is a respected member of the MotoGP paddock.