Perfect day for Pons Moto2 Team with Espargaro on pole, Rabat third and Pons in 13th
Pol Espargaró has taken his fifth pole position of the season at the Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi, with an incredible pace which at the end saw him smash the 1.51 mark. He had previously done several laps just over 1.51, but at the end he posted a lap of 1.50’886, crushing the previous record and with the fifth-best qualifier already being over half a second behind.
Teammate Tito Rabat has also made a big impression, having a strong hand in the battle for pole position until a few minutes for the end of the session and finishing with a spot on the first row of the grid for the first time in Moto2. A run off track when he was improving in the first three sectors of the track finally kept him from getting under the 1.51 mark himself and battle for top spot with his teammate.
13th place for Axel Pons was also a positive result, the Catalan always improving and moving up several positions in the final minutes to get closer to the top ten.
1. POL ESPARGARÓ, 1.50.886 “I’m happy because despite some struggle in the end I took my fifth pole position of the year. The first day I didn’t feel good on the bike at all. We worked hard and found a good setup for the race. The qualifying was difficult. Marc did very fast consecutive laps and topping that was hard and we couldn’t do it until the end. But with the right tyre and the right setting we did it and I have to thank the team for their perserverance and hard work. Tomorrow we have to be smart and keep in mind that we can’t make any mistakes which would be deadly for our championship hopes and still try to take those 25 points.”
3. TITO RABAT, 1.51.156 “It’s been a very positive weekend. From the beginning we’ve been competitive and we focused on the setup for the race which is where he had problems in the last races. At first we’re there and then we lose out. I’m using this weekend to solve this. We also did a good qualifying. Tomorrow I’ll try to be in front. Surely it’ll be all together with Pol, Marc, Redding… And I hope to be there with them to fight for victory or a podium position.”
13. AXEL PONS, 1.52.061 “I’m pretty happy. We started the qualifying rather badly, with a small crash without consequences. Fortunately we could continue and get a good laptime. During the practice this morning and I didn’t manage to feel really comfortable and we made some changes ahead of the qualifying which worked well. Although we still have some margin to improve and we have to work on the bike before tomorrow, but I’m confident, because we start from a good position and I hope to make a good start to get to the front group and try to have a good race.”
Source: Pons Racing