Andrea Iannone denied Scott Redding a pole position with a last-gasp improvement in qualifying for the Moto2 race at Aragon this afternoon. The Italian got badly balked by traffic in the final two turns of his late pole bid, but his effort proved enough to steal the top spot from Redding by just 0.041 second.
Having been involved in the tragic accident that killed promising Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa at Misano two weeks ago, there was speculation Redding would never ride again. But the youngest rider in the category produced a performance full of maturity, resolve and speed to almost take pole. Redding, 17, who required 12 stitches in his back following the Misano accident, led the times for most of the second half of the session, before getting pipped by Iannone.
"To come back this weekend, it's a great boost for us as a team," said Redding. "I led it right up until the last 30 seconds or so, but the front end was just going on me. We'll have to see what we can do in the race."
JiR returnee Alex de Angelis, who was also involved in Tomizawa's Misano accident, set the third fastest time, ahead of countrymen Simone Corsi and Claudio Corti.
Hungarian Gabor Talmasci, Michele Pirro and German Stefan Bradl were next, while Raffaele de Rosa rounded out the top 10 despite a late crash.
Championship leader Toni Elias led the times in the early part of the session, but crashed at Turn 1. He may still face sanction for riding the wrong way up the pitlane to get back to his garage. The ex-MotoGP race winner got back on track late on, but could not improve and wound up 12th.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap
1. Andrea Iannone Speed Up 1m55.148s
2. Scott Redding Suter 1m55.189s + 0.041s
3. Alex de Angelis Motobi 1m55.194s + 0.046s
4. Julian Simon Suter 1m55.364s + 0.216s
5. Simone Corsi Motobi 1m55.499s + 0.351s
6. Claudio Corti Suter 1m55.585s + 0.437s
7. Gabor Talmacsi Speed Up 1m55.627s + 0.479s
8. Michele Pirro Moriwaki 1m55.752s + 0.604s
9. Stefan Bradl Suter 1m55.752s + 0.604s
10. Raffaele de Rosa Tech 3 1m55.794s + 0.646s
11. Dominique Aegerter Suter 1m55.819s + 0.671s
12. Toni Elias Moriwaki 1m55.838s + 0.690s
13. Kev Coghlan FTR 1m55.859s + 0.711s
14. Jules Cluzel Suter 1m55.882s + 0.734s
15. Mike di Meglio Suter 1m55.941s + 0.793s
16. Yonny Hernandez BQR 1m56.036s + 0.888s
17. Alex Baldolini ICP 1m56.045s + 0.897s
18. Ricard Cardus Bimota 1m56.069s + 0.921s
19. Hector Faubel Suter 1m56.111s + 0.963s
20. Thomas Luthi Moriwaki 1m56.124s + 0.976s
21. Ratthapark Wilairot Bimota 1m56.220s + 1.072s
22. Karel Abraham FTR 1m56.223s + 1.075s
23. Roberto Rolfo Suter 1m56.251s + 1.103s
24. Mattia Pasini Suter 1m56.341s + 1.193s
25. Sergio Gadea Pons Kalex 1m56.411s + 1.263s
26. Yuki Takahashi Tech 3 1m56.440s + 1.292s
27. Alex Debon FTR 1m56.574s + 1.426s
28. Anthony West MZ 1m56.584s + 1.436s
29. Roman Ramos Mir 1m56.596s + 1.448s
30. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 1m56.691s + 1.543s
31. Santiago Hernandez Moriwaki 1m57.063s + 1.915s
32. Fonsi Nieto Moriwaki 1m57.159s + 2.011s
33. Valentin Debise ADV 1m57.191s + 2.043s
34. Mashel Al Naimi BQR 1m57.474s + 2.326s
35. Kenny Noyes Promoharris 1m57.524s + 2.376s
36. Niccolo Canepa Bimota 1m57.582s + 2.434s
37. Robertino Pietri Suter 1m57.796s + 2.648s
38. Yannick Guerra Moriwaki 1m57.948s + 2.800s
39. Joan Olive Promoharris 1m58.052s + 2.904s
40. Kazuki Watanabe Suter 1m58.258s + 3.110s