Jake Dixon will start the first-ever Indian Moto2 race from a surprise pole position after capitalising on evolving track conditions following an early downpour to get the better of Pedro Acosta at the Buddh International Circuit.
In what would prove a massive turnaround for the Briton after only just scraping through into Q2 automatically in the dry after a heavy crash in FP3, Dixon made the most of the extended weather-dictated break prior to qualifying to regain his focus around the Delhi venue.
While the track had dried substantially since the preceding Moto2 Q2 session had concluded, damp patches across the circuit still made things tricky if you ventured off line.
It also meant that the very best times were always likely to come in the latest moments, an advantage Dixon expertly nailed as he completed one of the final laps of the session to go top with a 2m 01.924secs.
Good enough to earn him his second pole position in three rounds, Dixon originally looked set to settle for second behind Acosta but a mistake by the championship leader towards the end of his final lap opened the door for his British rival to swoop.
Joining them on the front row will be Sergio Garcia, the Pons Racing rider notching up another career landmark with his first Moto2 front row start. The Spaniard was one of the four riders to progress from Q1 when conditions were trickier, giving him a noticeable headstart once Q2 got underway.
Indeed, it was a similar story for fellow Q1 advancers Zonta van den Goorbergh and Darryn Binder, who put their better track time to use when it mattered for a fine fourth and fifth on the grid respectively.
Alonso Lopez rounds out row two, while Tony Arbolino once more has work to do to pull back precious points on Acosta in his fading title battle from seventh. Joe Roberts, Somkiat Chantra and Celestino Vietti finished off the top ten, ahead of Marcos Ramirez and Sam Lowes, the Briton unable to join his countryman Dixon in challenging for the top spot.
Further back, Rory Skinner was in contention for a spot in Q2 for a time as he revelled in the trickier conditions, but would eventually slip back to an eventual 22nd starting position.
|2023 Indian Moto2 | Buddh International Circuit | Qualifying Results | Round 13 of 20|
|1||Jake Dixon||🇬🇧||GasGas Aspar||Kalex||2m 01.924|
|2||Pedro Acosta||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||2m 01.956|
|3||Sergio Garcia||🇪🇦||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||2m 02.192|
|4||Zonta van den Goorbergh||🇳🇱||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||2m 02.271|
|5||Darryn Binder||🇿🇦||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||2m 02.602|
|6||Alonso Lopez||🇪🇦||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||2m 02.864|
|7||Tony Arbolino||🇮🇹||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||2m 02.958|
|8||Joe Roberts||🇺🇸||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||2m 03.262|
|9||Somkiat Chantra||🇹🇭||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||2m 03.370|
|10||Celestino Vietti||🇮🇹||Fantic Racing||Kalex||2m 03.374|
|11||Marcos Ramirez||🇪🇦||American Racing||Kalex||2m 03.446|
|12||Sam Lowes||🇬🇧||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||2m 03.536|
|13||Barry Baltus||🇧🇪||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||2m 03.706|
|14||Jeremy Alcoba||🇪🇦||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||2m 04.208|
|15||Ai Ogura||🇯🇵||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||2m 04.751|
|16||Manuel Gonzalez||🇪🇦||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||2m 04.871|
|17||Filip Salac||🇨🇿||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||2m 05.123|
|18||Dennis Foggia||🇮🇹||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||2m 05.352|
|19||Taiga Hada||🇯🇵||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||2m 03.263|
|20||Aron Canet||🇪🇦||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||2m 03.322|
|21||Fermin Aldeguer||🇪🇦||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||2m 03.501|
|22||Rory Skinner||🇬🇧||American Racing||Kalex||2m 03.814|
|23||Bo Bendsneyder||🇳🇱||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||2m 04.312|
|24||Kohta Nozane||🇯🇵||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||2m 04.494|
|25||Sean Dylan Kelly||🇺🇸||Forward Team||Forward||2m 04.727|
|26||Izan Guevara||🇪🇦||GasGas Aspar||Kalex||2m 05.015|
|27||Borja Gomez||🇪🇦||Fantic Racing||Kalex||2m 05.015|
|28||Alberto Surra||🇮🇹||Forward Team||Forward||2m 05.419|
|29||Albert Arenas||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||2m 05.562|
|W||Lukas Tulovic||🇩🇪||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex|