Moto2 Mugello: Schrotter snatches last gasp pole

Marcel Schrotter left it late to lower the record lap further and claim pole for the Moto2 Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Moto2 Mugello: Schrotter snatches last gasp pole

Marcel Schrotter pulled out a stunning lap as the chequered flag waved to depose his team-mate and claim pole for the Italian Moto2 Grand Prix as he mastered Mugello.

The German rider is still not at a hundred percent after injuring himself training on a trials bike a few weeks ago, but has learnt to ride around his issues and did so to perfection with a new best lap of 1m51.129s.

Fellow Dynavolt rider Tom Luthi had been the first to set a new record lap but ended up being pushed back to second in the closing seconds of the session, but remains confident of a strong performance on race day. His lap time was just +0.040s slower than Schrotter.

The final front row slot went to Alex Marquez who, bar a small spill on Friday, has looked the most consistent and sure of his race pace all weekend and carried that into qualifying to secure third for EG 0,0 Marc VDS, though he looked frustrated not to have done better - meeting Tetsuta Nagashima on track while they were both going for fast laps clearly annoyed the determined Spaniard.

Nicolo Bulega was the best of the riders to advance from Q1, fighting back after an early trip through the turn one gravel to ride to fouth for Sky Racing Team VR46.

Jorge Navarro made some great late progress to climb from eleventh to fifth on his final attack for Speed Up, flying the flag for the alternative manufacturers as the highest qualifying non-Kalex entry.

Luca Marini had been fastest on Friday but couldn’t quite translate that into qualifying speed - he finished the session sixth on the second Sky bike.

Nagashima (SAG Team) took seventh on the timesheets, ahead of Sam Lowes in eighth for Gresini, the Briton running a quiet, considered session with no errors to help him move on from the disaster he endured in France.

Augusto Fernandez had been fastest in the morning’s FP3 session but faded to ninth by the end of qualifying on the Flexbox HP40 Pons bike. Remy Gardner did enough to slip inside the top ten on the second SAG entry.

The battle for top rookie honours was hard fought with Enea Bastianini (Italtrans) just ahead of Moto3 champion Jorge Martin in eleventh. Martin (Red Bull Ajo) was not only the top qualifying KTM but the only person to get one of their machines into Q2. 

With championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri having won every race he’s finished so far this season, Flexbox HP40 rider has left himself a massive task to continue the winning part of his trend from 15th on the grid.

Mattia Pasini is back again as a replacement rider, still in for Khairul Idham Pawi as he continues his recovery. Though riding high for Petronas Sprinta Racing in practice, he failed to make an impact in qualifying and placed 18th and last in Q2.

He was just behind Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who came through Q1 as the top rider only to fade to 17th.

A crash in Q1 halted Marco Bezzecchi’s progress, he starts 25th.

There is a second replacement rider with Teppei Nagoe in for the injured Somikat Chantra at Idemitsu Honda Team Asia. He will start his first world championship race from 32nd.