Moto2: Marquez controls qualifying for Qatar pole

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The first pole position of the 2018 Moto2 World Championship went the way of Alex Marquez after the Spaniard dominated this afternoon’s qualifying session in Qatar.

The Estrella Galicia Marc VDS rider sat atop of the timesheets by a comfortable margin for most of the session before chipping away at his time to end up with a 2’00.299.

That placed him 0.308 seconds ahead of second placed Lorenzo Baldassarri on the Pons HP40 machine with Sky VR46’s Pecco Bagnaia completing an all-Kalex front row.

Winner of the last three Grand Prix in 2017, Miguel Oliveira will start fourth for Red Bull KTM ahead of series rookie Romano Fenati who continues to impress on the Marinelli Snipers Team Kalex as he steps up from Moto3.

Returning to Moto2 after losing his ride mid-way through last year, Danny Kent will start sixth after an impressive session aboard the factory Speed Up machine.

Jorge Navarro will line up seventh for the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 squad, ahead of Mattia Pasini and the Dynavolt Intact GP machine of Marcel Schrotter.

Britain’s Sam Lowes will no doubt be disappointed with tenth on the grid for his first race back in Moto2 after a small crash at turn seven mid-way through the session.

The opening qualifying session of the year proved to be a baptism of fire for reigning Moto3 World Champion Joan Mir, who will start 24th for the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS squad. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing