2012 Motegi Moto2 Qualifying Practice Result: Dominant Display Sees Lap Record Crushed

Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at Motegi:

Pol Espargaro has secured his 5th pole position of the season, posting a scorching lap at the end of a session he had controlled almost throughout. Espargaro's best lap destroyed the existing Moto2 pole record by well over a second, and putting him well ahead of Marc Marquez, the championship leader having no reply to the pace of Espargaro. Tito Rabat took 3rd, Espargaro's HP Tuenti teammate having an outstanding weekend in Japan and grabbing a front row start into the bargain. Scott Redding heads up the 2nd row, nearly four tenths off the pace of Espargaro, but still two tenths quicker than Tom Luthi, who will start from 5th. Johann Zarco rounds out the second row, and will start from 6th.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 40 Pol ESPARGARO KALEX 1'50.886    
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ SUTER 1'51.023 0.137 0.137
3 80 Esteve RABAT KALEX 1'51.156 0.270 0.133
4 45 Scott REDDING KALEX 1'51.273 0.387 0.117
5 12 Thomas LUTHI SUTER 1'51.481 0.595 0.208
6 5 Johann ZARCO MOTOBI 1'51.640 0.754 0.159
7 38 Bradley SMITH TECH 3 1'51.736 0.850 0.096
8 60 Julian SIMON SUTER 1'51.740 0.854 0.004
9 18 Nicolas TEROL SUTER 1'51.977 1.091 0.237
10 24 Toni ELIAS KALEX 1'51.980 1.094 0.003
11 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI KALEX 1'52.038 1.152 0.058
12 3 Simone CORSI FTR 1'52.052 1.166 0.014
13 49 Axel PONS KALEX 1'52.061 1.175 0.009
14 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI FTR 1'52.098 1.212 0.037
15 36 Mika KALLIO KALEX 1'52.223 1.337 0.125
16 81 Jordi TORRES SUTER 1'52.239 1.353 0.016
17 15 Alex DE ANGELIS FTR 1'52.309 1.423 0.070
18 29 Andrea IANNONE SPEED UP 1'52.353 1.467 0.044
19 77 Dominique AEGERTER SUTER 1'52.536 1.650 0.183
20 95 Anthony WEST SPEED UP 1'52.686 1.800 0.150
21 88 Ricard CARDUS AJR 1'52.781 1.895 0.095
22 19 Xavier SIMEON TECH 3 1'52.921 2.035 0.140
23 63 Mike DI MEGLIO KALEX 1'53.180 2.294 0.259
24 23 Marcel SCHROTTER BIMOTA 1'53.182 2.296 0.002
25 14 Ratthapark WILAIROT SUTER 1'53.206 2.320 0.024
26 22 Alessandro ANDREOZZI SPEED UP 1'53.256 2.370 0.050
27 75 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA SUTER 1'53.299 2.413 0.043
28 8 Gino REA SUTER 1'53.413 2.527 0.114
29 31 Kohta NOZANE FTR 1'53.505 2.619 0.092
30 20 Jesko RAFFIN KALEX 1'54.352 3.466 0.847
31 82 Elena ROSELL SPEED UP 1'54.674 3.788 0.322
32 57 Eric GRANADO MOTOBI 1'55.057 4.171 0.383

 

Round Number: 
15
2012
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Comments

The lap record was crushed. We're nearly a full season into 1000cc rules and Motegi is a track where horsepower counts. Be interesting to see whether the 5 year old circuit record at Phillip Island falls as easily.

Moto 2 bikes are fitted with nominally identical 600cc engines.

With control rubber from Dunlop cutting a second of last years pole time is an achievement for both the rider & chassis constructor.

I think the tires keep improving every year as well, so it's an achievement for riders, chassis constructors and for Dunlop. :)

Kiwi has raised a point made by An Other website in which it is claimed Mika Kallio was "torpedoed" by Marc Marquez in FP3. Kallio later claimed the impact bent the swing-arm of his bike. Fortunately, someone has posted video of the incident on You-Tube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5ctaWTSrI

I think if the swing-arm in Kallio's bike was bent following this incident, it was most likely as a result of the bike thrashing itself onto the tarmac on its side.

While I do not condone any of the dangerous moves Marquez has pulled in the past, I do not think this was one of them. It seems Marquez had a faster exit line from the left-hander, which allowed him to get inside Kallio going into the next right-hander. Compounding the situation was Kallio being a fraction slower in the transition from left to right, so that when he finally did tip it in, he was dropping down onto the front of Marquez' bike.

I have serious doubts that Marquez' team is playing fair with the source code in its ECU, which has allowed Marquez to use superior top speed to make most of his passes this year, but I do not think he can be villified in this incident. Once Kallio rolled in on top of him, there was not a whole lot he could have done.