Alonso Lopez will start the second round of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship at Termas de Rio Hondo from pole position after coming from a long way back to grab the top spot in the dying moments of Q2.
Tipped by many as a title contender in 2023 despite it being his first full season in the intermediate Grand Prix class, two-time race winner Lopez left it late at the Argentine venue to surge from 18th to first with his final effort.
A second career Moto2 pole position - having broken his duck at the 2022 Valencia finale - Lopez’s joy came at the expense of fellow Spaniard Aron Canet, who’d be forced to settle for second on the Wegow Pons Kalex, just 0.007s shy of pole. Somkiat Chantra completes the front row on the Honda Team Asia machine, the Thai rider looking to go one better than his second place finish to Celestino Vietti in 2022.
Top Briton Jake Dixon is well placed to target an elusive first Moto2 win from fourth on the grid, the GasGas Aspar rider paired with Portimao Moto2 winner Pedro Acosta and last year’s winner in Argentina, Vietti, on row two.
Completing the top ten is Manuel Gonzalez on the distinctive VR46 Yamaha in seventh, Marc VDS and practice pace setter Tony Arbolino in eighth, Italtrans’ Joe Roberts in ninth and Albert Arenas on the Ajo KTM tenth.
Elsewhere, Portimao pole sitter Filip Salac could only manage 13th this time, one spot ahead of Briton Sam Lowes, while Fermin Aldeguer couldn’t replicate his shock pole position in Argentina last season aged only 16, the Spaniard down in 16th this time.
Meanwhile, Rory Skinner’s Moto2 initiation made a little more progress with the Scot securing 25th on the grid aboard the OnlyFans-sponsored American Racing Kalex