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Thomas Luthi beats Marc Marquez to Qatar Moto2 pole

Tom Luthi, Paddock, Qatar 2012Thomas Luthi followed up his practice pace to take pole position for the Moto2 season opener in Qatar.

The Paddock team's rider had finished in the top five in the Moto2 standings for the past two years, then led every single practice session at Losail. Luthi carried that form into qualifying, where a very early 2m00.187s lap proved sufficient to wrap up his second pole in the series.

Last year's runner-up Marc Marquez came closest to deposing Luthi, lapping just 0.072 seconds shy of pole on the Monlau Suter as he secured second on the grid for his first race since the Sepang practice crash that left him with a potential career-threatening eye injury.

Andrea Iannone - third in Moto2 in both 2010 and '11 - was third quickest for Speed Master, ahead of Pol Espargaro (Pons), Mike di Meglio (Speed Master) and Max Neukirchner (Kiefer).

Several regular frontrunners will be disappointed with their starts to the season - including British duo Bradley Smith and Scott Redding in 12th and 13th.

Aspar's all-star duo of 2010 Moto2 champion and MotoGP race-winner Toni Elias and 2011 125cc champion Nico Terol ended up only 17th and 26th. Terol's 125cc title rival Johann Zarco will start 19th for his Moto2 debut with JIR after his session ended in a Turn 1 collision with one of the Pons riders.

Pos  Rider                  Team/Bike              Time       Gap
 1.  Thomas Luthi           Paddock Suter          2m00.187s
 2.  Marc Marquez           Monlau Suter           2m00.259s  + 0.072s
 3.  Andrea Iannone         Speed Master Speed Up  2m00.296s  + 0.109s
 4.  Pol Espargaro          Pons Kalex             2m00.597s  + 0.410s
 5.  Mike di Meglio         Speed Master Speed Up  2m00.625s  + 0.438s
 6.  Max Neukirchner        Kiefer Kalex           2m00.658s  + 0.471s
 7.  Esteve Rabat           Pons Kalex             2m00.793s  + 0.606s
 8.  Claudio Corti          Italtrans Kalex        2m00.874s  + 0.687s
 9.  Takaaki Nakagami       Italtrans Kalex        2m00.898s  + 0.711s
10.  Simone Corsi           Ioda FTR               2m00.986s  + 0.799s
11.  Julian Simon           Avintia FTR            2m00.992s  + 0.805s
12.  Bradley Smith          Tech 3                 2m01.015s  + 0.828s
13.  Scott Redding          Marc VDS Kalex         2m01.031s  + 0.844s
14.  Mika Kallio            Marc VDS Kalex         2m01.111s  + 0.924s
15.  Alex de Angelis        Forward Suter          2m01.181s  + 0.994s
16.  Dominique Aegerter     Technomag-CIP Suter    2m01.374s  + 1.187s
17.  Toni Elias             Aspar Suter            2m01.618s  + 1.431s
18.  Xavier Simeon          Tech 3                 2m01.718s  + 1.531s
19.  Johann Zarco           JIR Motobi             2m01.910s  + 1.723s
20.  Roberto Rolfo          Technomag-CIP Suter    2m02.018s  + 1.831s
21.  Randy Krummenacher     Switzerland Kalex      2m02.097s  + 1.910s
22.  Angel Rodriguez        SAG FTR                2m02.142s  + 1.955s
23.  Ricard Cardus          Arguinano AJR          2m02.500s  + 2.313s
24.  Axel Pons              Pons Kalex             2m02.535s  + 2.348s
25.  Yuki Takahashi         Forward Suter          2m02.637s  + 2.450s
26.  Nicolas Terol          Aspar Suter            2m02.811s  + 2.624s
27.  Gino Rea               Gresini Moriwaki       2m02.934s  + 2.747s
28.  Ratthapark Wilairot    Gresini Moriwaki       2m03.031s  + 2.844s
29.  Anthony West           QMMF Moriwaki          2m03.621s  + 3.434s
30.  Alexander Lundh        MZ FTR                 2m04.130s  + 3.943s
31.  Marco Colandrea        SAG FTR                2m04.424s  + 4.237s
32.  Elena Rosell           QMMF Moriwaki          2m05.183s  + 4.996s
33.  Nasser Hasan Al Malki  QMMF Moriwaki          2m05.591s  + 5.404s
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