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MotoGP Motegi: Canet claims Moto2 pole, Dixon third

Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet claimed Moto2 pole for the Japanese GP after a challenging Saturday at Motegi.

A 2’04.939 penultimate effort secured the celebrations for the Spaniard, his first since Mugello, after a fight through from Q1. Inde GasGas Aspar’s Jake Dixon and Elf Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino initially completed the front row after a dramatic delay due to torrential rain at Mobility Resort Motegi circuit. Late revisions reinstating CAG Speed Up's Fermin Aldeguer to the runner-up spot as Dixon settled for third.

Intermediate qualifying kicked off with Mooney VR46’s Celestino Vietti facing the Q1 fight alongside American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier and the returning Sam Lowes. Canet was the first to take charge in the challenging conditions, turn four immediately proving Jeremy Alcoba’s undoing on the Liqui Moly Intact GP.


RW Racing’s Barry Baltus, Lowes and VR46 Master Camp’s Keminth Kubo held the promotion places at the halfway stage. Vietti 0.014s adrift in fifth as the Elf Marc VDS rider suffered a massive highside at turn four with Niccolo Antonelli down shortly after.

Canet advanced the pace with a 2’05.543 as the session wound down, almost a full second clear of the rest of the pack. Baltus, Kubo and Pertamina SAG’s Taiga Hada striking for promotion potential the closing stages before Italtrans’ Lorenzo Dalla Porta, then Beaubier demoted the home rider in the dying seconds for the final place. Vietti’s poor qualifying run continuing as the Italian completed the session in eighth ahead of a P22 start on Sunday., with Lowes two places behind.

Thunder and lightning welcomed the start of Q2 as the skies darkened. Aspar’s Jake Dixon heading the early times with a 2’08.247 before Canet and Somkiat Chantra bettered. Conditions deteriorating as the rain intensified before the red flags came out with just under ten minutes left on the clock.

Canet’s 2’07.503 sat as the benchmark as the action resumed over 90 minutes later. CAG Speed Up’s Fermin Aldeguer opened the action with the first flyer - a 2’07.144 - before Dixon and Canet both improved in quick succession.

The Spaniard was back in charge with a 2’05.875 as the times looked to tumble. Dixon returning to second as Aspar teammate Albert Arenas and the second Speed Up of Alonso Lopez crashed out on hot laps at turns eight and eleven respectively. Canet advancing again to hold a near one-second advantage for provisional pole next time around.

The Flexbox rider once again held court with a 2’04.939 in the final minute as. Aldeguer bettered Dixon for second with Chantra, Jorge Navarro and Filip Salac in the top six.

A crash for Navarro as the chequered flag prepared brought out the yellows with Chantra’s final effort impeded, Arbolino securing fourth with a late effort with Beaubier eighth. Championship leader Augusto Fernandez sat 11th as the session completed, KTM teammate Pedro Acosta 18th.

Revisions after the flag saw Aldeguer’s P2 lap deleted with Dixon promtoted to the middle of the front row and Arbolino third, as the CAG rider dropped to sixth, the decision, however, was later reversed.

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