Argentina Moto2: Lowes denies Zarco pole in tight battle

Sam Lowes left it late to beat reigning Moto2 champion Johann Zarco to pole position in Argentina, deposing his rival in the dying stages of a tense qualifying session.

Gresini Kalex rider Lowes saved his best effort for his 20th and final tour of the Termas de Rio Hondo track, setting a 1m43.347s to beat Zarco's long-standing benchmark by 0.242s.

The Frenchman improved on his last flying lap, but ended up 0.119s shy of Lowes in the final reckoning and was forced to settle for second on the Ajo Kalex.

Jonas Folger (Intact) also looked like improving at the chequered flag as well but lost ground towards the end of the lap, the German taking third with a lap 0.290s off the pace.

Takaaki Nakagami (Team Asia) will lead the second row ahead of Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli and Qatar winner Thomas Luthi (Paddock).

Folger's Intact teammate Sandro Cortese was seventh, from Danny Kent - a late improver on the Leopard Kalex - and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward), back in action just two weeks after dislocating both shoulders in a crash during qualifying in Qatar.

Axel Pons (AGR) completed the top 10, one place ahead of Alex Rins aboard the Pons bike. Simone Corsi was the best non-Kalex in P13.

Qualifying results:

1 United KingdomSam Lowes  Gresini Racing Kalex 1:43.347
2 FranceJohann Zarco  Ajo Motorsport Kalex 1:43.466
3 GermanyJonas Folger  Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex 1:43.637
4 JapanTakaaki Nakagami  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex 1:43.709
5 ItalyFranco Morbidelli  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 1:43.733
6 SwitzerlandThomas Luthi  Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex 1:43.813
7 GermanySandro Cortese  Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex 1:43.823
8 United KingdomDanny Kent  Leopard Racing Kalex 1:43.858
9 ItalyLorenzo Baldassarri  Forward Racing Kalex 1:43.981
10 SpainAxel Pons  AGR Team Kalex 1:43.982
11 SpainAlex Rins  Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex 1:43.989
12 MalaysiaHafizh Syahrin  Petronas Raceline Malaysia Team Honda Kalex 1:44.055
13 ItalySimone Corsi  Speed Up Racing Speed Up 1:44.060
14 SpainLuis Salom  SAG Team Kalex 1:44.104
15 SpainAlex Marquez  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 1:44.154
16 GermanyMarcel Schrötter  AGR Team Kalex 1:44.172
17 BelgiumXavier Simeon  QMMF Racing Team Speed Up 1:44.396
18 PortugalMiguel Oliveira  Leopard Racing Kalex 1:44.424
19 SwitzerlandDominique Aegerter  Technomag Racing Interwetten Kalex 1:44.443
20 ItalyMattia Pasini  Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 1:44.523
21 ThailandRatthapark Wilairot  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex 1:44.572
22 ItalyLuca Marini  Forward Racing Kalex 1:44.603
23 SpainXavi Vierge  Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 1:44.703
24 SpainJulian Simon  QMMF Racing Team Speed Up 1:44.767
25 SwitzerlandJesko Raffin  Sports-Millions-EMWE-SAG Kalex 1:45.294
26 SwitzerlandRobin Mulhauser  Technomag Racing Interwetten Kalex 1:45.848
27 SpainIsaac Viñales  Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 1:45.859
28 SpainEfren Vazquez  JPMoto Malaysia Suter 1:46.272
29 ItalyAlessandro Tonucci  Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex 1:46.554
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About this article
Series Moto2
Event Termas de Rio Hondo
Track Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
Drivers Johann Zarco , Jonas Folger , Sam Lowes
Article type Qualifying report