FlexBox HP 40’s Aron Canet clinched his second Moto2™ pole in fine style as the intermediate class enjoyed a dry track for the first time at the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal. The Spaniard’s 1:44.151 saw him take control of Q2 halfway through and, despite the best efforts of Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) and Jake Dixon (Autosolar GasGas Aspar Team) at the very end, he comfortably held on for a first pole since the 2020 Styrian GP.
COTA winner Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing) was one name looking for a way through, and he made it but was denied top honours by Marcos Ramirez (MV Agusta Forward Racing) by just 0.033. Joining the two, Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP 40) and Zonta van den Goorbergh (RW Racing GP) headed for Q2 too.
Five minutes remained on the clock when Canet made his move for top spot, jumping ahead of victor last time out in Austin and Q1 graduate Arbolino. The chequered flag was out before anyone looked like challenging, but that challenge came courtesy of Beaubier. The American’s 1:44.479 fell short of Canet’s impressive lap but it was enough for another front row start just two weeks on from his emotional debut pole on home soil.
Dixon was throwing everything at it and couldn’t quite attack for pole but stole the final place on the front row, pushing Arbolino back to fourth.
Canet, Beaubier and Dixon take front row honours, with Arbolino heading Row 2. A late lap from Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) saw him take fifth on the grid, where he’ll line-up alongside former teammate Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing).
There is a pair of Idemitsu Honda Team Asia machines at the front of row three with Ai Ogura and Somkiat Chantra set to fire from seventh and eighth on the grid. Ninth was Italtrans Racing’s Joe Roberts.
Row four of the grid for Sunday’s race will comprise Albert Arenas (Autosolar GasGas Aspar Team), Q1’s Navarro and Friday’s fastest in the wet, Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP). That leaves Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney Racing Team VR46) further back than he would like, with the Italian looking to move through from P13.
Moto2™ race after MotoGP™ in Portugal, so make sure to tune in as the lights go out at 14:30 (GMT +1)… will there be another new face on the podium or top step?