Jake Dixon was back on the front row with the Inde GasGas Aspar on Saturday after setting a 1’35.921 lap during Moto2 qualifying at Le Mans.
Just 0.118s separated Dixon from pole-sitter Pedro Acosta after the Brit utilised the rookie as reference for his P2-worthy lap around the Bugatti Circuit. The celebrations were a far cry from the morning’s struggles which found him adrift of the top ten and crashing out mid-way through FP3 at the penultimate corner before sealing his place in the pole shootout from 12th overall.
The afternoon’s late session push demoted fellow Englishman Sam Lowes off the front row, to fourth, after the Marc VDS rider high-sided out at turn eight. With KTM Ajo riders Acosta and Augusto Fernandez set to line up on either side of Dixon at the head of Sunday’s grid for the 25-lap race.
“Honestly, it was a difficult weekend up until this point,” Dixon said from Parc Fermé. "I got the time when it was most needed. Just really, really happy.
”The team constantly believes in me and I've been struggling. FP3 I was lost!
“If you watch FP3, I crashed off track by going slow and wasn't ideal, but it's been really difficult. I've been struggling and it's been mainly me but the team said, 'Look, let's go back to what we know with the hard front tyre'. We put that back in and I had a good reference in Pedro then.
“I haven't followed anyone at all the weekend, and when I did it in qualifying, I realised where I was making mistakes, and that was a key to finishing second so really, really happy. I can't thank the team enough and just hope we have a good race tomorrow.”