Moto2 Austin: Schrotter holds off rivals to claim pole position

Marcel Schrotter survived a flurry of late fast laps to sit on pole ahead of the Moto2 Grand Prix of the Americas at COTA.
Moto2 Austin: Schrotter holds off rivals to claim pole position

Marcel Schrotter claimed his second pole of the season, after also leading off the Qatar Grand Prix, at a now blustery Circuit of the Americas after a very competitive Moto2 qualifying drew to a close.

With a change to the grip to deal with after the rain and a strong wind whipping around the track it was Marcel Schrotter who found his way to the top of the timesheets at just the right time for Dynavolt Intact GP.

The Kalex rider posted a 2m 10.875s best , which was enough to hold off his rivals as the chequered flag waved, building on his practice success where he had topped both of the sessions which ran (as with all classes, FP3 was cancelled due to lightning and heavy rain).

Alex Marquez moved onto the front row with his final lap of the track, but the EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider remained 0.058s away from the German’s best.

They are joined by Sam Lowes. Austin has traditionally been a successful track for the Briton - a previous winner at COTA, who left it to the final seconds of the session to climb to third on the grid from seventh for Federal Oil Gresini Moto2.



That pushed Schrotter’s team-mate Tom Luthi down to fourth, a disappointment for the Swiss rider who had been a close second to Schrotter in practice.

Brad Binder was competitive in the session and lead in the early stages before being shuffled back to fifth for Red Bull KTM Ajo. Jorge Navarro completes row two in sixth, his best qualifying performance of the season so far for Speed Up.

Mattia Pasini impressed on his Moto2 return - at a track where he was on pole last season - he replaces the injured Augusto Fernandez, who fractured his arm when he crashed in Argentina and looked immediately back at home on his way to seventh.

Jorge Martin was the best of the rookies and the best of the riders to come through from Q1 in eighth on the second Red Bull entry.

Veteran Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing) kept chipping away at his time to secure ninth with Luca Marini’s late improvements enough to elevate him into the top ten for Sky Racing Team VR46.

Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) struggled and could only manage a best of 15th on the grid to defend his perfect start to the season from.

Pole-sitter at the last round before electrical issues took him out before the race started, Xavi Vierge found himself shuffled back at the close of the first qualifying session, leaving him 20th on the grid.

Dimas Ekky Pratama crashed heavily in Q1, with Remy Gardner taking a tumble on a slow lap as he came up the hill from turn nine into turn ten. That left him last after Q2 as his bike was not able to be ridden back to the pits for repairs.

The only home rider in the paddock - Joe Roberts, at American Racing KTM, was eighth in Q1, which sees him take 22nd on the grid.

Jake Dixon misses the race after his huge Friday fall left him with concussion.

Nicolo Bulega is also absent following his surgery to correct compartment syndrome in his right arm. He is not replaced by the team.

Gabriel Ruiu replaces Stefano Manzi, with Jesko Raffin in again for Steven Odendaal, they start 27th and 21st respectively.