MotoGP Sepang: Ogura on Moto2 pole, Fernandez sixth| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
Idemitsu Honda’s Ai Ogura claimed Moto2 pole position at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday with a 2’06.405 lap.
The championship leader secured the spoils by just 0.083s from Elf Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino and Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet with his main title rival Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez down in sixth.
Celestino Vietti faced Q1 as Moto2 qualifying began in Malaysia. The Mooney VR46 rider joined by teammate Niccolo Antonelli with Italtrans’ Joe Roberts and Lorenzo Dalla Porta also in the mix for the first 15-minute session.
The American headed the pack as the session bedded in, a 2’07.062 the target to beat with Gresini’s Filip Salac, Dalla Porta and Antonelli holding the final promotion places.
Vietti circulated half a tenth adrift of his teammate from sixth before Antonelli crashed out at turn one as the session hit five minutes to go. The top times remaining unchallenged as the chequered flag prepared with the latter Italian safe after a nervous wait from the sidelines.
Salac suffered a sector three off as the final action fired up. Arbolino setting the Q2 pace with a 2’06.488 lap from Canet with Boscoscuro’s Alonso Lopez in third. Aspar’s Jake Dixon ran fourth at the halfway stage, half a second adrift, before the Brit bettered to third with his next attempt. Fernandez and KTM teammate Pedro Acosta slotting into fourth and fifth before Ogura arrived to head the standings.
Yamaha VR46 Master Camp’s re-signed Manuel Gonzales rose to fifth with five to go as the Spaniard continued to show his promise. Idemitsu’s Somkiat Chantra and SAG’s Bo Bendsneyder completing the top ten with three minutes left on the clock.
Late efforts promoted Roberts to tenth before fellow American Cameron Beaubier claimed eighth. Chantra the last to cross the line with a charge to seventh.