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MotoGP Austria: Bagnaia secures Moto2 pole from Oliveira

Pecco Bagnaia secured his third Moto2 pole position of 2018 with World Championship leader and rival Miguel Oliveira 0.310 seconds behind in second position at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

With morning rain now a distant memory, the Moto2 session was used predominately as a further free practice session with the majority of fast times done in the opening stages of the session.

Bagnaia and Oliveira both used the freshly laid rubber from the MotoGP sessions to post early laps and Bagnaia wasted little time in posting his fastest time of a 1:29.409, a lap that nobody would better over the next 35 minutes. The session wasn’t helped by the fact that a big crash from Luca Marini high sided his Sky Racing VR46 bike causing a red flag in the middle of the session to get his stricken bike off the track. Despite the red flag, nobody ever had the pace to ever challenge the Italian’s time.


Oliveira also posted his fastest lap early, but never looked like he would challenge Bagnaia’s lap. The top two are separated by just two points at the top of the World Championship and the pace the two of them showed during longer runs in qualifying suggests we may get a showdown between the two of them in tomorrows race.

Fabio Quartararo was a further two tenths behind Oliveira’s time to secure the final spot on the front row.

Jorge Navarro secured a joint career best Moto2 qualifying position with fourth place ahead of Alex Marquez and Mattia Pasini who were fifth and sixth respectively.

Marcel Schrotter will head the third row and be joined by Birthday boy Brad Binder and Lorenzo Baldassarri on the third row. Luca Marini will start from tenth position alongside Remy Gardener and Iker Lecuona.

There were a lot of crashers including Marquez, Baldassarri and Marini. Thankfully they walked away from their crashes unharmed, but Xavi Vierge was not so lucky. The Spaniard was rear-ended by Lecuona in the opening stages of the race. As a result of the crash he was declared unfit for tomorrows race with a fractured wrist.

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