Texas Review
Moto2 qualifying at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at the Circuits of The Americas in Austin, Texas on April 9, 2022. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

An American, riding for an American team, in America, on pole! That sounds good for the home crowd, 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, taking the honour by over 0.3s from Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team). Vietti came through Q1 to start on the front row, however, and it's a familiar sparring partner in P3: Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), despite a late crash, starts from third.

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 either, that accolade went to Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), but he safely made it into the pole position shootout alongside the Dutchman, Marcos Ramirez (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP).

After the first set of laps were thrown into the hat in Q2, it was none other than Vietti leading the way, the Italian putting in a 2:09.091. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) then crashed unhurt at Turn 17 though, 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. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), who was P3, was then the third rider who crashed, rider also ok. The Japanese rider went down on the exit of Turn 11 and that meant more yellow flags were shown, which meant more laps would be chalked off.

After the drama had settled, all eyes turned to Beaubier. Three red splits went the way of the home hero and crossing the line, the American went provisional pole by 0.3s.

Canet was on a flyer though, over four tenths up in the first sector, but Turn 17 caught the Spaniard out. The front end washed away, bringing out the yellow flags once more, 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 out on track and threatening, but ultimately neither would get close to Beaubier’s time. That was that – the American sophomore is on pole for the Grand Prix of the Americas!

The Grid
Behind Beaubier, Vietti and Canet, 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 but the Spaniard starts P7, ahead of Aldeguer, Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo). (Source: MotoGP)

Grand Prix motorcycle racing is the oldest established motorsport world championship and the premier class of motorcycle road racing events held on road circuits sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Grand Prix motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are unavailable for purchase by the general public and unable to be ridden legally on public roads. The championship is currently divided into four classes: the eponymous MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE.

Moto2 was initially a 600 cc four-stroke class introduced in 2010 to replace the traditional 250 cc two-stroke class. Engines were supplied exclusively by Honda, tires by Dunlop and electronics are limited and supplied only by FIM-sanctioned producers. Carbon brake discs are banned, only steel brake discs are allowed. However, there are no chassis limitations. Until 2019, only 600 cc four-stroke Moto2 machines were allowed.

Circuit of The Americas
Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is the premier destination for world-class motorsports and entertainment in the United States. Just outside downtown Austin, Circuit of The Americas has hosted the biggest names in racing, action sports and music. At its heart is a 3.41-mile racetrack that was designed to challenge the world's most exacting competitors while providing a thrilling spectacle for audiences.

The 20-turn, counterclockwise circuit takes advantage of the naturally undulating landscape, including an intimidating 133-foot hill at Turn 1. It has hosted the Formula 1 United States Grand Pix, MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, ESPN's X Games, the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge and more. Nestled within the track is Germania Insurance Amphitheater, the largest permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Texas, and its 251-foot signature observation tower.

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Circuit of The Americas
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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