The final race of 2016 in the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship promises a thrilling showdown between the three front-row qualifiers who have been the strongest recent performers in the class.
Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport Kalex), winner of back-to-back Moto2 titles, took pole by just six thousandths of a second from Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex), winner of two of the last three races. Last man on the front row is Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS Kalex), who has finished on the podium in the last four races, including the Australian GP, where he lost the race by just 0.01 seconds.
Row two in this close-fought series – in which all riders use identically prepared CBR600 engines – comprises veteran Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), erstwhile title contender Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex) and former 125cc World Champion Julian Simon (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up).
Jerez and Aragon winner Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex) heads the third row, just ahead of fellow Briton Danny Kent (Leopard Racing Kalex) and Assen TT winner Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex). Nakagami was just 0.486 seconds behind Zarco’s pole!