MotoGP Le Mans: Acosta claims rookie Moto2 pole, Vietti 19th

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM’s Pedro Acosta continued his sensational rookie showing as he claimed his first Moto2 pole position at Le Mans on Saturday.

The Ajo rider’s dominant 1’35.803 lap claimed another all-time lap record at the Bugatti Circuit, a theme of the weekend across the classes, with teammate Augusto Fernandez joining him on the front row. Inde GasGas Aspar’s Jack Dixon completed the Parc Fermé celebrations by splitting the pair for second, just a tenth off the impressive pace as he trailed the rookie on track.

Alessandro Zaccone kicked off Moto2 qualifying with an early crash on the Gresini machine before Sean Dylan Kelly did likewise moments later. Lorenzo Dalla Porta headed the times on the Italtrans Kalex with a 1’36.259 from Fermin Aldeguer and Bo Bendsneyder with Jorge Navarro holding the final promotion place at the halfway stage.

Garage Vert claimed Niccolo Antonelli as the final five minutes began. The Mooney VR46 rookie hitting the deck on a personal best from 14th.

Celestino Vietti fell short of securing his promotion with his seventh lap as he moved to fifth, 0.02s adrift before the next shot looked to be enough. The Italian again fading in the final sector on a personal best, with 0.01s left to find on his final run. A heartbreaking 0.006s denying him the Q2 shootout at the flag.

Q2 saw Sam Lowes holding provisional pole with a 1’36.071 before the Brit highsided heavily at turn eight at the halfway stage. Ai Ogura suffering a similar fate at turn six in the same lap from fourth.

Albert Arenas and Alonso Lopez sat between the fallers in second and third before Acosta’s challenge kicked up, initially to third before the KTM’s of first Fernandez then Acosta stole the limelight on 1’35 pace. Dixon dumping his countryman off the front row with a move into second with four minutes to go.

1’35.803 held the session and a new all-time lap record as the closing stages played out. Aron Canet finding seventh with Cameron Beaubier yet to register a time with two to go.

The chequered flag dropped with the front row secure. Somkiat Chantra crashing out at turn ten from eleventh in the standings with the fallen Lowes starting from fourth on Sunday’s grid.

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