Italian veteran Matta Pasini has wrapped up his fifth Pole Position in the last seven races at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2017.
The Italtrans Racing Team rider’s best lap of 1m33.300s in the 45-minute qualifying session saw him just edge out German Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP, 1:33.308), followed by Portuguese flyer Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo, 1:33.422).
Pasini was last on Pole Position at Phillip Island in 2007, but in the now-defunct 125cc two-stroke class.
“We take this pole today with good rhythm and feeling, and it’s important to start from the front because we don’t know how the conditions will be tomorrow,” said Pasini.
“We have a great set-up and feeling for the race. I hope to fight for the top five and maybe for the podium if it’s possible.”
Pasini, Schrotter, and Oliveira will have nothing to lose in tomorrow’s 25-lap grand prix, while for Italian Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0, 1:33.495) and Swiss rider Tom Luthi (CarXPert Interwetten, 1:34.098) they’ll have a lot more to factor into their outings.
Morbidelli leads Luthi by 19 points in the hard-fought championship, and the pair will start from fifth (row two) and 10th (row four) respectively in the Moto2™ race.
Meanwhile, last year’s Moto3™ winner at Phillip Island, South African Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), qualified in fourth position – easily his best starting spot in the Moto2™ category – after his 1:33.453.
Motegi winner Alex Marquez (EG 0,0, 1:33.749) will start alongside his teammate Morbidelli in sixth, with row three to be filled by Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, 1:33.921), Dominque Aegerter (Kiefer Racing, 1:33.944) and Jesko Raffin (Garage Plus Interwetten, 1:33.982).
Less than one second covered the top 14 riders, with Aussie Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing, 1:34.500) just outside that bracket in 16th position.
Xavier Simeon (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) didn’t complete a lap in qualifying after a heavy crash at tur 11 on his first flyer, with his participation in tomorrow’s race now in severe doubt.
Tickets for the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2017 are still available. Book now to experiece the fastest men on two-wheels battle it out at The Island.
The Moto2™ Grand Prix will start at 2:20pm on Sunday.