It was a bizarre weekend in Moto2 with the title contenders failing to make a splash and some unexpected faces at the front end of the grid.
Domi Aegerter: It’s been a rough season for the Swiss rider who had to crowdfund his way onto the grid this year but he delivered a spectacular qualifying performance to rocket himself into fourth with a 1’33.721, 0.123 off the third-place position. It wasn’t play sailing for Aegerter this weekend though as he ended Friday in 14th-place but made headway in the Saturday morning session as he finished FP3 in fifth. This will be Aegerter’s best qualifying performance since San Marino in 2017.
Xavi Vierge: Vierge has had a torrid season so far with injury, bad luck and occasionally just pure lack of pace but the Spaniard managed to claw his way back to the front of the grid to take third-place for Sunday. If you looked at Vierge’s free practice sessions, you would have expected a fourth row start, third at best as he ended Friday’s sessions in ninth and couldn’t get himself any further up in FP3 with another ninth-place finish. However, the Spanish rider managed to pull it out of the bag and hammered in a 1’33.721 to put himself onto the front row.
Mattia Pasini: Pasini claimed his third pole of the season with a magnificent 1’33.368. The Italian had a mixed weekend with a third-place FP1 finish followed by a decent seventh-place in FP2. He once again improved in FP3 by topping the timings, he carried this pace into qualifying too as he topped the timings once again but it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine and Pasini took a late tumble at turn four causing him to watch apprehensively from the garage as remaining few minutes of the session to see if anyone could challenge him. Fortunately, no-one was able to steal the spot from the Italian and he will start from the front once again.
Francesco Bagnaia: Perfect Pecco’s luck may not be completely up but it certainly left him this weekend. The VR46 academy rider qualified in 16th position, his worst qualifying of the season so far. His Friday sessions had been fairly decent as he took fourth-place at the end of the day but his pace abandoned him during Saturday and he only managed 18th during FP3. The Italian was unable to perform any of his usual magic in qualifying and it was obvious he was devastated by his terrible performance. The blow of being within touching distance of the championship but tripping so close to the end will naturally make him even more formidable on Sunday.
Miguel Oliveira: Oliveira’s qualifying performance has been less than impressive all season but even compared to his previous Saturdays, this one will be a heavy blow to overcome as he will begin in 20th-position. His free practice sessions were showing signs of an exceptional weekend as he claimed fifth-place in FP2 and third-place in FP3 but the pace he’d carried during the sessions failed to make an appearance and leaves the Portuguese rider scrapping from the lower end of the grid in a bid to keep his name in the running for the championship title.
Full results here.
It could be fireworks and gritted teeth as the pack fly into turn one but can Pecco and Oliveira cause some upset or will Pasini claim his second win of 2018 before he possibly departs the Moto2 grid?