The intermediate class narrative was more of the usual: a long lull bookended by hot laps. This time, with a twist at the end. If the bike on top throughout the session was an expected one, the rider was unexpected. Alex Marquez was the early leader after firing in a high 1:53, teammate Franco Morbidelli and Mattia Pasini joining the club in close proximity. With the Italian duo looking threatening all weekend, it was an even bigger surprise that the first rider to relegate Marquez was Miguel Oliveira, the Portuguese rider dominating the final sector to score his and KTM’s second pole position in the class. Their joy was slightly dampened by a mix up with cancelled lap times that briefly relegated Oliveira to ninth, but the poleman was reinstated after being sent off from parc fermé. The long walk back probably felt sweeter with the prospect of a brand new watch.
Pasini was keen to challenge for top honours but got a bit distracted, first by waving around at Sandro Cortese and then getting too acquainted with Edgar Pons’ rear tyre. Pole number five was not to be but the Italian will start second on the grid after some wild final laps. The last spot on the front row went to Alex Marquez, the still convalescent half of the Marc VDS garage doing one better than his teammate, only seven hundredths of a second off pole.
The world championship leader won’t have been too disappointed with fourth place, only a tenth down on Oliveira, both him and his teammate failing to improve on their early laps. Simone Corsi proved why he was the only other rider to have sat on the Aragon podium in Moto2 - besides the duo ahead of him – by going fifth quickest. Jorge Navarro continued his impressive progress to join the second row of the grid in sixth.
After his showing in practice, Tom Luthi could have done worse than seventh, starting right behind his title rival. The Swiss rider will be joined on the third row by Marcel Schrotter, who seemed to have recovered well from injury, and Cortese, who might actually be the tiniest bit disappointed after running as high as fourth in practice.
Takaaki Nakagami in tenth briefly looked like threatening pole but ran into trouble in the final sectors. His fourth row start will be shared with Misano victor Dominique Aegerter and Pecco Bagnaia, the Italian ending his afternoon with a light crash.
|5||24||Simone CORSI||Speed Up||1'53.876||0.140||0.035|
|17||87||Remy GARDNER||Tech 3||1'54.728||0.992||0.011|
|22||37||Augusto FERNANDEZ||Speed Up||1'54.883||1.147||0.003|
|25||97||Xavi VIERGE||Tech 3||1'55.080||1.344||0.040|
|32||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||1'55.770||2.034||0.082|