Saturday's qualifying session in Austin was indeed like a rodeo ride, with a very strong wind blowing over the Circuit of The Americas during the short 15-minute session of the day. After the morning sessions of all classes were cancelled due to thunderstorms and rain showers, the Moto2 riders had to wait until 15:30 in the afternoon to finally be able to rider a few laps on the track.
As the first and second of Friday's free practice sessions, both Intact GP Kalex riders were of course the main favourites for Q2 on Saturday. The long waiting time, wind and poor grip conditions made it a difficult session, but first Tom Lüthi stormed on the provisional pole, then two minutes before the end team mate Marcel Schrötter took the lead. It almost seemed as if the pair could finish once more in first and second place, but then the gear jumped out of Tom Lüthi's bike in his fastest lap and he couldn't improve any more. While Marcel Schrötter defended his top position with a time of 2'10.875, Alex Marquez first took third place and then Sam Lowes pushed the Swiss rider out of the front row.
Tom Lüthi P4 - 2'11.243 (+0.368)
The bike jumped out of the gear during my fastest lap. Therefore I am disappointed. Otherwise the speed is there, which is important. Our basic speed for the race is very high and I really believe that we can be right at the front again, even over the distance. The conditions on the track today were tricky with only 15 minutes on the track, a lot of wind, few grip, but I still think that we could reduce the gap to Marcel. And not only on the timesheet, but also in general. That counts for the race because we can keep that in mind and that gives us confidence.
Michael Thier Crew Chief #12 Tom Lüthi
Today was pretty tricky, as we had planned some changes to the bike that we wanted to go through during FP3 and that did not happen today. Therefore we had to put everything into the qualifying. The problem is that the qualifying only has 15 minutes with the new time schedule. In this short time you don't do pit stops. So you have to put everything on one card with the things you try. It worked well this time. Tom was positive with the changes we made, but the track conditions were much worse than yesterday. It was windy, the grip was not as it was in FP2. Tom is disappointed, as he could have done a really fast lap in the second section. But the gear jumped out in section three and so it was not his fast lap. We have to adjust the bike a little bit more during the warm up tomorrow. It looks like the conditions should be fine and then we are ready for the race.
1. Marcel SCHROTTER / GER / KALEX - 2'10.875
2. Alex MARQUEZ / SPA / KALEX - 2'10.933 (+0.058)
3. Sam LOWES / GBR / KALEX - 2'11.123 (+0.248)
4. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX - 2'11.243 (+0.368)
See full starting grid on motogp.com