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MotoGP Catalunya: Gardner from Fernandez in KTM Moto2 masterclass

Remy Gardner continued to showcase his promise at Barcelona by securing Moto2 pole position for the CatalanGP ahead of KTM teammate Raul Fernandez.

The soon-to-be MotoGP rider claimed the session with a 1’42.977, 0.15s ahead of the second KTM, with Bo Bendsneyder battling through on the Mandalika SAG for third. Sam Lowes completed a subdued qualifying in eighth with Jake Dixon lining up in last place for Sunday’s 22-lap race, after crashing out of his Q1 challenge.

Dixon kicked off his Catalan qualifying with a Q1 battle from 11th place. Tom Luthi commanding the standings from the off as Jorge Navarro saved a highside on the Speed Up at turn three on his opening hot-lap. 


Disaster struck the Brit at turn five on the next revolution, as his Petronas went in too hot with the Kalex machine tumbling through the gravel and the one bike rule almost certainly ending his session before it had really begun.

Recovering from his initial moment, Navarro swept to the top with a 1’43.684 from Fabio Di Giannantonio, Somkiat Chantra and Nicolò Bulega, with Hector Garzo and Hafizh Syahrin just outside the promotion zone in fifth and sixth. There was no further progress, however, for the Flexbox rider as he crashed out at turn five and with the flag flying there were no threats on the board, the top-four easily progressing into the closing shootout. 

Saturday’s final action saw another dramatic save from Marcel Schrotter as his Intact GP flicked up after a major rear slide on the opening lap. Fernandez and Gardner returned to the top as their earlier one-two reversed with Navarro holding third. The Speed Up was on another hot-lap before he succumbed to turn 10. 

Chantra rose to third as the next laps came in, Augusto Fernandez sitting fourth from Aron Canet and Xavi Vierge as Bo Bendsneyder and Marco Bezzecchi improved to third and fifth. The times kept flooding in as Di Giannantonio and Lowes were the next to advance, taking fourth and sixth before Ai Ogura demoted the Brit to seventh. The Marc VDS rider also suffering a major moment, this time at turn 13, with Lowes executing another impressive save as his session continued. 

Six-tenths covered the top-eight riders as the penultimate minute clicked down. Gardner taking over from his fellow KTM at the top with his sixth lap of the afternoon before improving again next time around, 1’42.977 now the target as the flag prepared to fly. 

The Australian claimed the pole from Fernandez and Bendsneyder with Augusto Fernandez and Di Giannantonio joined on the second row by a late charge from Vierge. Lowes settled for the middle of the third row, in eighth, with a Honda Asia rider on either side and Bezzecchi behind in 10th. Canet and Navarro complete row four from Schrotter, Tony Arbolino and Lorenzo Dalla Porta with Bulega, Joe Roberts and Marcos Ramirez completing the top-18. 

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