Qatar Moto2: Folger hangs on from Lowes for pole

Jonas Folger will start the opening race of the new Moto2 season at Qatar on pole position after surviving a late charge from Sam Lowes in qualifying.

Qatar Moto2: Folger hangs on from Lowes for pole
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On his first outing for the Intact GP team, Folger was first to beat the practice benchmark set on Friday by Lowes, punching in a time of 1m59.052s early on in the session.

That gave him a three-tenths cushion over closest rival Alex Rins, before third-place man Lowes jumped to second with a time 0.072s shy of Folger with just under 10 minutes to go.

But there was nothing the Englishman to do to depose Folger, the German rider securing pole at the track where was victorious last season.

Rins qualified third, 0.302s off the pace, suffering a monster crash at Turn 2 midway through the session but returning to the track and failing to improve on his earlier best.

Reigning champion Johann Zarco will begin his title defence from fourth on the grid, moving ahead of Franco Morbidelli on his final flying lap, with Folger's Intact teammate Sandro Cortese completing the second row.

Lorenzo Baldassari qualified seventh after a late crash, after which he was taken away in an ambulance.

Marcel Schrotter, Takaaki Nakagami and Thomas Luthi, who ended up 0.868s off the pace after showing strongly in practice, complete the top 10.

Moto3 champion Danny Kent will start 11th, a full 11 places ahead of Leopard teammate Miguel Oliveira, with Simone Corsi the best of the non-Kalex riders in 14th.

 

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