The home hero claims a dream maiden Moto2™ pole position as Vietti comes from Q1 to pick up P2
An American, riding for an American team, in America, on pole. That sounds good, doesn’t it? It certainly does for Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) who bagged a dream debut Moto2™ pole position at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas by 0.3s over World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), who came through Q1 to start on the front row. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), despite a late crash, will launch alongside his title rival in P3.
Vietti safely negotiates Q1
After finishing Free Practice down in P15, Vietti had to battle it out in Q1. The Italian didn’t top the first part of qualifying, that accolade went to Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), but Vietti safely made it into the pole position shootout alongside the Dutchman, Marcos Ramirez (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP).
American Beauty – Beaubier delights home crowd
And after the first set of laps were thrown into the hat in Q2, it was Vietti leading the way with a 2:09.091. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed unhurt at Turn 17, bringing out the red flags, as Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) then went down unhurt at Turn 8. Neither rider had set a lap time. Ogura, who was P3, was the third rider who crashed unhurt. The Japanese rider went down on the exit of Turn 11, more yellow flags were shown, which meant more lapses would be chalked off.
All eyes then turned to Beaubier. Three red splits went the way of the home hero and crossing the line, Beaubier went provisional pole by 0.3s, but Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) was on a flyer. Turn 17, however, caught out the Spaniard. Canet’s front end washed away, bringing out the yellow flags, but it wasn’t quite done and dusted yet with a couple of minutes to go.
Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and Arbolino were threatening but neither would get close to Beaubier’s time, and that was that – the American sophomore was on pole for the Grand Prix of The Americas.
The top 10 qualifiers in Austin
Arbolino managed to recover from that early crash to claim P4 on his last lap, the Italian will start alongside Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team pairing Albert Arenas and Jake Dixon. Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40) faces a Long Lap Penalty in Sunday’s race for crashing under yellow flags in FP3, the Spaniard starts P7, ahead of Aldeguer, Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
Can Beaubier convert a phenomenal home GP pole position into victory? Find out when the Moto2™ race goes green at 11:20 local time (GMT-5).
1. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) – 2:08.751
2. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.340
3. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) + 0.532
4. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.578
5. Albert Arenas (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) +0.607
6. Jake Dixon (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) +0.683
7. Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40) + 0.711
8. Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) +0.863
9. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) +1.149
10. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.174