MotoGP Austria: Nagashima takes surprise Moto2 pole

| | MotoGP

SAG Japanese rider Tetsuta Nagashima claimed his maiden Moto2 pole position after breaking the Moto2 lap record at the Red Bull Ring.

Never qualifying inside the top two rows before today, Nagashima managed to take advantage of the track conditions with the freshly laid MotoGP Michelin rubber and rising track temperatures to post the fastest lap time of the session early on, a 1:28.718 which was not only enough to take pole position, but the fastest Moto2 lap around the Austrian circuit.

Behind the Japanese rider, Brad Binder will start from the middle of the second row, as the KTM man put a smile on his bosses faces with a superb lap, just 0.073 seconds behind Nagashima’s lap record time.

Somkiat Chantra will round out the front row with a stunning lap to secure third place. The Thai rider, whose previous best start was 19th place, had some nervy moments late on, however the Honda Team Asia rider held on for his first front row start.

Enea Bastianini had the Honda Team Asia crew worried as his late lap looked like it could punt Chantra off the front row, however the Italian ended up missing out by just 0.047, leaving him to settle for fourth place.

Tom Luthi will be hoping to get his World Championship charge back on track, with the Swiss rider starting in the middle of the second row, whilst Lorenzo Baldassarri rounds out the second row in sixth place.

Xavi Vierge will start from seventh place on his Marc VDS Kalex, with Jorge Navarro and Remy Gardener joining the Spaniard on the third row in eighth and ninth places respectively.

The fourth row has Luca Marini heading World Championship leader Alex Marquez, who struggled to find the pace to challenge at the front of the field, with Jorge Martin rounding out the fourth row.