Moto2: Sam Lowes Takes Pole Position At Losail (Updated)

Moto2: Sam Lowes Takes Pole Position At Losail (Updated)

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Moto2 Qualifying Combined

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Lowes lights up Losail for first pole position of 2021

The Brit heads rookie Fernandez and Bendsneyder after a classic shootout to begin the Moto2™ season

 

Sam Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Sam Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) was once again in superior form at the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar as the British rider set a 1:58.726 to take the first honours of the season. The Brit beat rookie sensation Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to pole position by 0.140s, with Bo Bendsneyder’s (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) awesome early season form seeing the Dutchman claim just his third Grand Prix front row start in P3, 0.233s from Lowes’.

Ahead of the opening Moto2™ pole position battle, four riders entered the fray from Q1. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was the quickest as rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and 2019 Moto3™ World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) finished within a tenth of each other to get another crack at the whip in Q2.

As Q2 kicked into life, the fastest rider after the opening flying laps was Lowes. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) made it a British 1-2 but working in tandem, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner then took over at the top – the latter leading his rookie teammate with a 1:59.245. Incidentally, Lowes’ first lap time was then scrapped but soon after, his second lap then saw him fly to P1, 0.447s faster than Gardner’s best.

Once again, Dixon made it a British 1-2 but Lowes’ lead was still considerable. Bendsneyder then catapulted himself to P2 before Lowes once again pulled clear of the chasing pack. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) then took over in second, but the Italian was still over three tenths behind. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo then launched themselves onto the front row, Raul Fernandez P2 and Gardner P3, but the Aussie’s lap would get cancelled.

The ever-impressive Bendsneyder then hit back to demote Bezzecchi off the front row on his final lap as Gardner then threatened Lowes’ time on his last lap. However, a crash for Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) at Turn 10 – minutes after the Spaniard and teammate Dixon collided at Turn 3 – put a halt to Gardner’s late charge. Dixon was judged to have been riding slow on the line, causing a collision and has a three-place grid penalty.

At the top though, Lowes was untouchable. The 2020 title challenger has been in supreme form at Losail and will launch from pole, and he’ll line up alongside a rookie sensation in Raul Fernandez. The Spaniard has taken to Moto2™ like a duck to water and Bendsneyder impressed too, picking up his first front row start since the 2017 Moto3™ Dutch GP.

A star-studded second row will be lining up for the opening round of the season as Bezzecchi, Joe Roberts (American Racing) and Gardner claim P4, P5 and P6 in Q2 respectively. Dixon couldn’t improve on his couple of early banker laps and slipped down to P7, but will start further back in tenth. Q1 graduate Di Giannantonio was P8 but will start seventh ahead of Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up), with rookie Vietti boosted up to ninth after an impressive day.

Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) and Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) both went to the medical centre for check-ups after both suffering big crashes in Q1. Unfortunately, both riders have been declared unfit. Corsi sustained a left wrist fracture and Ramirez suffered a right humeral fracture, the duo will miss the Qatar GP.

Can anyone beat Lowes at Losail? It’s looking like a tricky task, but Sunday is surely going to throw up some drama under the lights. Make sure you check the clock changes before tuning in for the Moto2™ race at 18:20 local time (GMT+3)!

Sam Lowes: “I felt good in qualifying, it was the first time we went out with low fuel, I did a quite a lot of fast laps, not a perfect lap but I’m happy. We’ve done a good job all winter and good job in the test, it’s been nice to do testing cause last year I missed it! It’s nice to understand more and give ourselves more possibilities in the race weekend if we need to, it’s going good. When you have a good year it’s nice to carry it on next year and carry the momentum.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Italtrans Racing:

Italtrans Racing Team hits the top five in Qatar

The wait is finally over. After the winter break among the uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the MotoGP World Championship is back on track for a new thrilling season.

Italtrans Racing Team is ready to start its 12th season in Moto2 with the first round in Qatar, at Losail Circuit, as World Champion after the success conquered last year together with Enea Bastianini.

Good qualifying day for both the riders.
The new entry Joe Roberts went directly into Q2, setting an excellent 1’59”168, just four tenths off the pole position: this time will allow him to start from the fifth position on the grid.
Positive start for Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who raced his best qualifying in Moto2. The Tuscan rider passed from Q1 and finished Q2 close to the top ten with the 14th final laptime.
 

Lorenzo Dalla Porto (19). Photo courtesy Italtrans Racing.
Lorenzo Dalla Porto (19). Photo courtesy Italtrans Racing.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta #19

14° | 1’59”531

“I’m happy with the work we have done together with the team: the guys have helped me and I have improved my racing style a lot. Today is my best qualifying session in Moto2 and this is an important result from which I need to take further steps forward. I’m focused for tomorrow: I’m aware that I can do well, but there is still a lot to work on”.

 

Joe Roberts (16). Photo courtesy Italtrans Racing.
Joe Roberts (16). Photo courtesy Italtrans Racing.

Joe Roberts #16

5° | 1’59”168

“I’m quite happy with the position. I think the laptime could be better: I struggled with a couple of things, overall the pace is good and I feel strong for tomorrow. I think the target should be the podium and to battle at the front. I’m feeling really good and happy for this first weekend with the team so far”.

Giovanni Sandi – Technical Director:

“Good qualifying. Maybe we could have done a bit more, but it’s good for being the first of the season. We did a great job with Joe, but we have to continue to develop the feeling. I’m also happy for Lorenzo, who finally managed to get into Q2. Let’s hope for a good race tomorrow”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by American Racing Team:

American Cameron Beaubier set for Moto2 debut in Qatar

Teammate Marcos Ramirez injures arm, will miss season-opening race

 

Marcos Ramirez. Photo courtesy American Racing Team.
Marcos Ramirez. Photo courtesy American Racing Team.

 

Calabasas, Calif. (March 27, 2021) — American Racing riders Marcos Ramirez and Cameron Beaubier qualified 20th and 22nd for the opening round of the FIM Moto2 World Championship. Unfortunately, Ramirez will not start Sunday’s 20-lap race at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar.

The 23-year-old Spaniard crashed at Turn 14 with fewer than five minutes remaining in the first of two qualifying sessions. X-rays revealed Ramirez fractured the humeral head—the ball that sits in the shoulder socket—of his right arm.

Shortly before his crash, Ramirez set the fifth-quickest lap of the session and a personal best for the weekend, a 1:59.638.

“I am happy about the bike, but I touched the curb and crashed,” said Ramirez. “It was a hard landing. I hope to come back next weekend.”

Beaubier continues to progress in his Moto2 debut. On Friday, he shaved more than 1.6 seconds from his best lap in opening practice.

The five-time MotoAmerica Superbike champion was quicker on Saturday, recording a 1:59.673—0.947 seconds from pole position—on his eighth and final lap of 15-minute Qualifying 1. Beaubier ended the session eighth, 0.319 seconds from first.

“I’m improving,” said Beaubier. “I think it will be really good to get a race under my belt. I’m looking forward to lining up.”

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.

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