Moto2: Bradl on pole for Moto2 opener

Stefan Bradl took pole position for the first Moto2 round of the season at Losail in Qatar, but had to fight hard to fend off 125cc champion Marc Marquez

Moto2: Bradl on pole for Moto2 opener

The duo had been at the forefront of most of practice as well, and resumed their battle in qualifying, with Monlau Suter rider Marquez looking on course for pole with his 2m00.375s until second-year Moto2 man Bradl (Kiefer Kalex) did a 2m00.168s. The result was Bradl's first pole at world championship level.

Interwetten's Thomas Luthi filled the final spot on the front row, now limited to three riders like MotoGP under the 2011 rules.

Behind Yuki Takahashi (Gresini), Jules Cluzel (Forward) and Julian Simon (Aspar), the second-best Moto2 debutant was Bradley Smith, who qualified a strong seventh for Tech 3 - ahead of ex-MotoGP man Alex de Angelis' JiR Motobi.

Michele Pirro was ninth for Gresini, while Scott Redding could not replicate his practice pace and was back in 10th on Marc VDS' Suter.

It was a tough return to the feeder categories for ex-Pramac MotoGP riders Aleix Espargaro and Mika Kallio, who will take their first Moto2 starts from 13th and 25th respectively.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Stefan Bradl Kiefer Kalex 2m00.168s 2. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter 2m00.375s + 0.207s 3. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Suter 2m00.996s + 0.828s 4. Yuki Takahashi Gresini Moriwaki 2m01.179s + 1.011s 5. Jules Cluzel Forward Suter 2m01.408s + 1.240s 6. Julian Simon Aspar Suter 2m01.430s + 1.262s 7. Bradley Smith Tech 3 2m01.442s + 1.274s 8. Alex de Angelis JiR Motobi 2m01.465s + 1.297s 9. Michele Pirro Gresini Moriwaki 2m01.479s + 1.311s 10. Scott Redding Marc VDS Suter 2m01.564s + 1.396s 11. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 2m01.574s + 1.406s 12. Max Neukirchner MZ 2m01.741s + 1.573s 13. Mattia Pasini Ioda FTR 2m01.893s + 1.725s 14. Aleix Espargaro Pons Kalex 2m01.895s + 1.727s 15. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter 2m01.895s + 1.727s 16. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Suter 2m01.903s + 1.735s 17. Esteve Rabat Blusens-STX FTR 2m02.154s + 1.986s 18. Claudio Corti Italtrans Suter 2m02.237s + 2.069s 19. Mike di Meglio Tech 3 2m02.352s + 2.184s 20. Yonny Hernandez Blusens-STX FTR 2m02.392s + 2.224s 21. Javier Fores Aspar Suter 2m02.397s + 2.229s 22. Ricard Cardus QMMF Moriwaki 2m02.505s + 2.337s 23. Axel Pons Pons Kalex 2m02.529s + 2.361s 24. Pol Espargaro Speed Up FTR 2m02.536s + 2.368s 25. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Suter 2m02.549s + 2.381s 26. Valentin Debise Speed Up FTR 2m02.828s + 2.660s 27. Ratthapark Wilairot SAG FR 2m02.838s + 2.670s 28. Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP Suter 2m02.847s + 2.679s 29. Randy Krummenacher Kiefer Kalex 2m02.897s + 2.729s 30. Robertino Pietri Italtrans Suter 2m03.151s + 2.983s 31. Alex Baldolini Forward Suter 2m03.246s + 3.078s 32. Santiago Hernandez SAG FTR 2m03.264s + 3.096s 33. Kev Coghlan Castello FTR 2m03.276s + 3.108s 34. Kenny Noyes Avintia-STX FTR 2m03.461s + 3.293s 35. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 2m03.657s + 3.489s 36. Raffaele de Rosa G22 Moriwaki 2m03.684s + 3.516s 37. Anthony West MZ 2m04.043s + 3.875s 38. Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Moriwaki 2m04.875s + 4.707s 39. Nasser Hasan Al Malki QMMF Moriwaki 2m05.299s + 5.131s 
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Series Moto2
Author Matt Beer