Xavier Simeon was the surprise pole man for tomorrow's Moto2 race in Germany after a late lap gave him the first spot ahead of second front row surprise Jordi Torres and title contender Pol Espargaro.
Torres led for most of the session, but the late lap from Simeon gave him the lead. Espargaro was forced to abandon what could have been his fastest lap of the session after tangling with a back marker at the entrance to turn one.
Local boy Thomas Luthi was fourth, ahead of Simone Corsi and Julian Simon. Takaai Nakagami was seventh, ahead of championship leader Scott Redding, who had a poor session, unable to maintain his fast laps through the later sectors.
In fact, the entire qualifying grid was so tight there was no room for any errors, with only 0.04 covering the front row and the first 21 riders within a second of pole.
Teammate to Espargaro and race winner Tito Rabat was back in 23rd after a heavy crash in free practice, one spot behind Brit Danny Kent.
Simeon said afterwards "I really didn’t expect pole, but everyone in the top five is so close. It seems like we've good pace this year, and we're showing we can run at the front. Tomorrow is 19 laps, though, and will be a lot harder."
1 19 Xavier SIMEON BEL Desguaces La Torre Maptaq Kalex 1'24.665
2 81 Jordi TORRES SPA Aspar Team Moto2 Suter 1'24.678 0.013 / 0.013
3 40 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Tuenti HP 40 Kalex 1'24.704 0.039 / 0.026
4 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing Suter 1'24.840 0.175 / 0.136
5 3 Simone CORSI ITA NGM Mobile RacingSpeed Up 1'24.858 0.193 / 0.018
6 60 Julian SIMON SPA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 1'24.919 0.254 / 0.061
7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 1'24.931 0.266 / 0.012
8 45 Scott REDDING GBR Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 1'24.963 0.298 / 0.032
9 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 1'24.990 0.325 / 0.027
10 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up 1'25.032 0.367 / 0.042
17 8 Gino REA GBR Gino Rea Race Team FTR 1'25.412 0.747 / 0.047
22 52 Danny KENT GBR Tech 3 Tech 3 1'25.695 1.030 / 0.030
23 80 Esteve RABAT SPA Tuenti HP 40 Kalex 1'25.727 1.062 / 0.032
29 9 Kyle SMITH GBR Blusens Avintia Kalex 1'26.593 1.928 / 0.128