Moto2: Luthi on pole after crash-filled qualifying

Published: 22 October 2016

Japanese Grand Prix winner Thomas Luthi will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix on pole position after coming out on top of a crash-filled Moto2 qualifying session that saw 19 crashing in 40 minutes at Phillip Island.

Run even later than intended thanks to red flags in both Moto3 and MotoGP, the track temperatures had plummeted by the time the session got underway, and Luthi was lucky to survive as all his title rivals – Sam Lowes, Johann Zarco and Alex Rins – fell from the session.

“It was really special today because it was so difficult. I saw a dark cloud coming before the session started, so I went out early and pushed quite hard because I was sure it was going to rain right away – but we saw afterwards that it wasn’t necessary.

“We were lucky that it stayed dry and that we could use the track time to set up the bike. I had a small crash towards the end, but I was able to improve after it. It was hard though, especially to keep the tyres heated up and to find the limit on the front. It gives a lot of confidence for tomorrow though!”

Mattia Pasini finished the session an impressive session, but Lowes was able to rally back from a sedate start to the cold and wet weekend to take a front row start in third.

Sandro Cortese, Jesko Raffin and Jonas Folger will start from the second row, with reigning champion and title leader Zarco tenth and Rins, the only man realistically capable of beating him now, a distant 19th.

Danny Kent will start from 22nd after failing to capitalise on strong pace in free practice that saw him second at the end of play yesterday.

 

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