MotoGP Valencia: Lopez leaps to Moto2 pole as KTM locks out front row

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Beta Tools Speed Up’s Alonso Lopez secured Moto2’s final pole position of 2022 with a 1’34.314 lap on Saturday afternoon at Valencia.

Just one thousandth of a second separated the mid-season arrival from Red Bull KTM Ajo’s advancing Pedro Acosta for his maiden pole celebrations. His Rookie of the Year rival himself heading teammate Augusto Fernandez by just over a tenth as the final qualifying of the season came to a close.

Standout stand-in riders Borja Gomez and Senna Agius took early control on their respective Flexbox HP40 and Elf Marc VDS machines as intermediate qualifying got going at Ricardo Tormo. Mooney VR46’s Celestino Vietti taking over at the top as the second hot laps registered with a 1’35.166 effort before SAG’s Bo Bendsneyder then Agius bettered next time around.

Joe Roberts continued a difficult weekend back in the Italtrans box and at the back of the pack at the halfway stage, having suffered two falls in the morning practice. Vietti back in charge with a 1’34.758 ahead of a Marc VDS lockout with Bendsneyder completing the final promotion places with five to go.

Gremlins dispatched, Roberts was out on track and up to seventh as the session drew to a close. Alex Escrig suffering a late crash on the MV Agusta from tenth. Yamaha VR46 Master Camp’s Manuel Gonzales demoted Bendsneyder out of the promotion zone in the penultimate minute with Roberts doing likewise to Agius as the flag prepared.

Lopez took control of Q2 with a 1’34.314 as teammate Fermin Aldeguer crashed out of the early action at turn two. Acosta and Roberts sat second and third with Idemitsu Honda’s Ai Ogura fourth before championship leader Fernandez bettered for the final front row position with his fourth lap.

Five minutes to go and Acosta looked to challenge for pole before his red sector effort was denied by one thousandth of a second. Roberts consolidating fifth with his own personal best before Ogura advanced to claim the position from eighth, the second row headed by Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino after the Italian’s progression from the Q1 fight.

Flexbox’s Aron Canet claimed seventh from a regrouped Aldeguer and Vietti while late moves from Aspar’s Albert Arenas and American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier took 10th and 12th respectively. Dixon meeting the flag two behind in 14th before Italtrans’ Lorenzo Dalla Porta demoted the trio on his way to 10th.

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