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Qatar Moto2, Lusail Qualifying: Joe Roberts rolls back the years with return to pole in Qatar

Joe Roberts, Italtrans, Kalex, 2023 Moto2, Qatar Moto2, Lusail, action [Gold & Goose]

Joe Roberts will start the penultimate round of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship from pole position at the Lusail International Circuit.

The fourth Moto2 pole position of his career, Roberts’ latest Saturday success harks back to his maiden achievement at the same circuit in 2020, held just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and without the MotoGP class being present.

Stopping the clock with a 1m 57.305secs lap, Roberts was 0.007s quicker than Celestino Vietti, who looked on course for the top spot after reeling off a series of fast laps in Q1 and then Q2 that lifted Fermin Aldeguer’s practice benchmark.


However, he was forced to settle for second to Italtrans’ Roberts, while Aron Canet will get a good shot at that long-awaited maiden Moto2 win from third place.

Having been favourite coming into qualifying after dominating Practice, Aldeguer - who has started on pole position for each of the last three races - had to make do with fourth, the SpeedUp Racing rider joined on row two by Brits Sam Lowes and Jake Dixon.

Newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Pedro Acosta continued his low key weekend by qualifying seventh, while Marcos Ramirez - this week announced to be replacing Rory Skinner in the American Racing team for 2024 - starts eighth. Manuel Gonzalez completes the third row.

In tenth place, Alonso Lopez - on his first visit to the Lusail International Circuit - might have secured pole from Roberts had the red flags not been thrown late on due to an engine blow for Forward Racing’s Alex Escrig.

Qatar Moto2, Lusail International Circuit - Qualifying Results

2023 Qatar Moto2 - Lusail International Circuit - Qualifying Results - Round 19 of 20
Pos.RiderNat.TeamChassisLap Time
1Joe Roberts🇺🇸Italtrans Racing TeamKalex1m 57.305
2Celestino Vietti🇮🇹Fantic RacingKalex1m 57.312
3Aron Canet🇪🇦Pons Wegow Los40Kalex1m 57.333
4Fermin Aldeguer🇪🇦SpeedUp RacingBoscoscuro1m 57.432
5Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingKalex1m 57.741
6Jake Dixon🇬🇧GasGas AsparKalex1m 57.804
7Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKalex1m 57.846
8Marcos Ramirez🇪🇦American RacingKalex1m 57.949
9Manuel Gonzalez🇪🇦Yamaha VR46 MasterCampKalex1m 58.033
10Alonso Lopez🇪🇦SpeedUp RacingBoscoscuro1m 58.092
11Tony Arbolino🇮🇹Elf Marc VDS RacingKalex1m 58.109
12Ai Ogura🇯🇵IDEMITSU Honda AsiaKalex1m 58.116
13Somkiat Chantra🇹🇭IDEMITSU Honda AsiaKalex1m 58.236
14Zonta van den Goorbergh🇳🇱Fieten Olie Racing GPKalex1m 58.243
15Alex Escrig🇮🇹Forward TeamForward1m 58.346
16Barry Baltus🇧🇪Fieten Olie Racing GPKalex1m 58.363
17Lukas Tulovic🇩🇪Husqvarna IntactGPKalex1m 58.486
18Filip Salac🇨🇿QJMOTOR GresiniKalex1m 58.519
19Jeremy Alcoba🇪🇦QJMOTOR GresiniKalex1m 58.171
20Darryn Binder🇿🇦Husqvarna IntactGPKalex1m 58.211
21Sergio Garcia🇪🇦Pons Wegow Los40Kalex1m 58.224
22Albert Arenas🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKalex1m 58.298
23Dennis Foggia🇮🇹Italtrans Racing TeamKalex1m 58.379
24Izan Guevara🇪🇦GasGas AsparKalex1m 58.418
25Bo Bendsneyder🇳🇱Pertamina SAG TeamKalex1m 58.884
26Sean Dylan Kelly🇺🇸Fantic RacingKalex1m 58.955
27Mattia Casadei🇮🇹Forward TeamForward1m 59.168
28Taiga Hada🇯🇵Pertamina SAG TeamKalex1m 59.191
29Rory Skinner🇬🇧American RacingKalex1m 59.246
30Kohta Nozane🇯🇵Yamaha VR46 MasterCampKalex1m 59.429

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