Johann Zarco gave himself the best chance of bowing out of the Moto2 class in style tomorrow by topping this afternoon’s ultra-close qualifying session to take pole by 0.006 seconds.
The World Champion set his pace early on with his pole time coming on just his fifth lap of 19 during the session. The new circuit outright lap record was enough to hold off his challengers, but only just with Thomas Luthi taking second.
It wasn’t just the leading duo who were close either, with Italian Franco Morbidelli lapping just 0.048 seconds off Luthi to complete the front row. Mattia Pasini will start fourth ahead of Alex Rins and Julian Simon.
Sam Lowes will start seventh ahead of fellow Brit Danny Kent, who has shown a boost in form after sacking his crew chief Peter Bom. His eighth place matches his best qualifying of the season.
Takaaki Nakagami heads up row three with Alex Marquez rounding out the top ten.
“It's fantastic to be on pole in my final qualifying session in Moto2, and it will be a good memory for me,” Zarco said on his lap. “Franco [Morbidelli] and Thomas [Luthi] are very strong so at this weekend and getting better with every session. I want to thank the team for improving the bike so much, because I was able to push to the maximum in qualifying. I set my fastest lap when following Morbidelli; although later it was difficult to improve –even at the end with the new tyre. Tomorrow we will have to be very focused until the chequered flag; I want to have a good warmup and be very consistent. We need to make a few adjustments but I am happy to be in good form after winning the title."
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