2017 Austin MotoGP Moto2 Qualifying Result: Will It Be A Third-Time Charm?

Franco Morbidelli grabbed pole position at the Circuit of the Americas track Saturday and gave himself a good chance to start his season with three wins out of three races. Morbidelli's 2'09.379 put him one tenth clear of the field but more importantly, it also showed that his pace is as fast as it is consistent.

In the first free practice, the Italian was second fastest, in the second practice he was again. In the third practice, he was third fastest and then in qualifying, he came out on top. As the winner of the first two races, he looks tough to beat come Sunday. 

But Mattia Pasini (2nd) and Alex Marquez (3rd) plan to have a say in the matter. Pasini is a little more than a tenth back in qualifying with Marquez an additional tenth. Moreover, the two other front-row starters have had good race pace all weekend.

Takaaki Nakagami (4th) continued a strong COTA weekend (especially for a track he has admitted he does not like) and leads the second row. Thomas Luthi, who early in qualifying looked like he might grab the front row, slipped into fifth. Dominique Aegerter made a huge leap forward with a sixth, his best showing of the weekend. 

Miguel Oliveira, fastest in the first practice Friday and second-fastest in FP3, slid to seventh, just nipping Xavier Simeon (8th). Ricard Cardus (9th) and Marcel Schrotter rounded out the top ten.

Result:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.  
1 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex 2'09.379    
2 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex 2'09.546 0.167 / 0.167
3 73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 2'09.621 0.242 / 0.075
4 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex 2'09.960 0.581 / 0.339
5 12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 2'09.980 0.601 / 0.020
6 77 Dominique AEGERTER Suter 2'10.301 0.922 / 0.321
7 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 2'10.317 0.938 / 0.016
8 19 Xavier SIMEON Kalex 2'10.358 0.979 / 0.041
9 11 Sandro CORTESE Suter 2'10.366 0.987 / 0.008
10 88 Ricard CARDUS KTM 2'10.417 1.038 / 0.051
11 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Suter 2'10.478 1.099 / 0.061
12 97 Xavi VIERGE Tech 3 2'10.478 1.099  
13 9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex 2'10.491 1.112 / 0.013
14 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 2'10.500 1.121 / 0.009
15 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex 2'10.539 1.160 / 0.039
16 40 Fabio QUARTARARO Kalex 2'10.682 1.303 / 0.143
17 24 Simone CORSI Speed Up 2'10.748 1.369 / 0.066
18 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Kalex 2'10.759 1.380 / 0.011
19 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex 2'10.804 1.425 / 0.045
20 49 Axel PONS Kalex 2'10.813 1.434 / 0.009
21 60 Julian SIMON Tech 3 2'10.864 1.485 / 0.051
22 32 Isaac VIÑALES Kalex 2'10.912 1.533 / 0.048
23 10 Luca MARINI Kalex 2'10.923 1.544 / 0.011
24 52 Danny KENT Suter 2'10.932 1.553 / 0.009
25 2 Jesko RAFFIN Kalex 2'11.012 1.633 / 0.080
26 57 Edgar PONS Kalex 2'11.055 1.676 / 0.043
27 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 2'11.351 1.972 / 0.296
28 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex 2'11.715 2.336 / 0.364
29 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex 2'12.162 2.783 / 0.447
30 27 Iker LECUONA Kalex 2'12.638 3.259 / 0.476
31 62 Stefano MANZI Kalex 2'13.061 3.682 / 0.423
32 47 Axel BASSANI Speed Up 2'13.922 4.543 / 0.861
             

 

Round Number: 
3
2017
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Comments

Thanks for the piece Mike.

Franco Morbidelli is only 1.78 seconds slower than the Espargaro brothers. Not too shabby for a Moto2 bike. I guess they had some problems, Aleix Espargaro has been going rather well on the Aprilia. up until now.

Do not forget Sandro CORTESE, I think he is in the top ten somewhere. Ninth I reckon.

You are right, Sandro looks great. And when he can keep his head about him, he is always a threat. Morbidelli as well. And it's absolutely true that fast Moto2 riders these days can sometimes set times that would qualify for the very rear of the MotoGP grid. What's also interesting is that at Jerez, for example, the top Moto2 qualifying times would put them in the middle of the grid for a World Superbike race. Those Moto2 bikes have come a long way.