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Simon earns Moto2 pole in Japan

Julian Simon, MotegiJulian Simon will start on pole for the Motegi Moto2 race after an excellent qualifying performance in Japan.

The Aspar Suter rider, who is second in the championship but 76 points behind leader Toni Elias, took over at the front with five minutes to go, and then improved his time on three consecutive laps, eventually reaching 1m53.008s.

That proved beyond his rivals' reach, with Marc VDS' Scott Redding getting closest as he lapped 0.284 seconds slower in the closing moments.

A similar late improvement got Yuki Takahashi up to third on the Tech 3.

Elias had taken provisional pole on only his fourth lap of the session, and stayed serenely on top until Simon deposed him. As others also improved, Elias was pushed right back to sixth, but he got back onto the front row in fourth with his final lap.

Claudio Corti, Alex de Angelis, 2011 MotoGP rider Karel Abraham and Stefan Bradl will start on row two, with Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Iannone completing the top 10. The spectacular Hernandez had held second behind Elias for a long time, while four-time race-winner Iannone went through the gravel at the end of the back straight on his last lap so was unable to improve.

Pos  Rider                  Bike         Time       Gap
 1.  Julian Simon           Suter        1m53.008s
 2.  Scott Redding          Suter        1m53.292s  + 0.284s
 3.  Yuki Takahashi         Tech 3       1m53.439s  + 0.431s
 4.  Toni Elias             Moriwaki     1m53.504s  + 0.496s
 5.  Claudio Corti          Suter        1m53.507s  + 0.499s
 6.  Alex de Angelis        Motobi       1m53.545s  + 0.537s
 7.  Karel Abraham          FTR          1m53.561s  + 0.553s
 8.  Stefan Bradl           Suter        1m53.591s  + 0.583s
 9.  Yonny Hernandez        BQR          1m53.601s  + 0.593s
10.  Andrea Iannone         Speed Up     1m53.747s  + 0.739s
11.  Roberto Rolfo          Suter        1m53.817s  + 0.809s
12.  Dominique Aegerter     Suter        1m53.830s  + 0.822s
13.  Jules Cluzel           Suter        1m53.920s  + 0.912s
14.  Fonsi Nieto            Moriwaki     1m53.929s  + 0.921s
15.  Alex Baldolini         ICP          1m53.954s  + 0.946s
16.  Thomas Luthi           Moriwaki     1m53.961s  + 0.953s
17.  Raffaele de Rosa       Tech 3       1m54.070s  + 1.062s
18.  Simone Corsi           Motobi       1m54.252s  + 1.244s
19.  Mike di Meglio         Suter        1m54.363s  + 1.355s
20.  Sergio Gadea           Pons Kalex   1m54.390s  + 1.382s
21.  Kenny Noyes            Promoharris  1m54.417s  + 1.409s
22.  Ratthapark Wilairot    Bimota       1m54.498s  + 1.490s
23.  Michael Ranseder       Suter        1m54.504s  + 1.496s
24.  Hector Faubel          Suter        1m54.529s  + 1.521s
25.  Yusuke Teshima         TSR          1m54.565s  + 1.557s
26.  Alex Debon             FTR          1m54.596s  + 1.588s
27.  Shogo Moriwaki         Moriwaki     1m54.631s  + 1.623s
28.  Gabor Talmacsi         Speed Up     1m54.645s  + 1.637s
29.  Axel Pons              Pons Kalex   1m54.837s  + 1.829s
30.  Kazuki Watanabe        Suter        1m55.413s  + 2.405s
31.  Anthony West           MZ           1m55.544s  + 2.536s
32.  Valentin Debise        ADV          1m55.548s  + 2.540s
33.  Ferruccio Lamborghini  Moriwaki     1m55.955s  + 2.947s
34.  Ricard Cardus          Bimota       1m56.139s  + 3.131s
35.  Robertino Pietri       Suter        1m56.148s  + 3.140s
36.  Mashel Al Naimi        BQR          1m56.280s  + 3.272s
37.  Joan Olive             Promoharris  1m56.445s  + 3.437s
38.  Yannick Guerra         Moriwaki     1m56.474s  + 3.466s
39.  Vladimir Ivanov        Moriwaki     1m56.624s  + 3.616s
40.  Hiromichi Kunikawa     Bimota       1m56.849s  + 3.841s
41.  Kouki Takahashi        RBB          1m57.115s  + 4.107s
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Elias claims seventh Moto2 victory