Joe Roberts will start tomorrow’s Moto2 Grand Prix of Qatar from the second row.

MotoAmericans Joe Roberts and Cameron Beaubier will line up fifth and 22nd, respectively, for tomorrow’s Moto2 World Championship opener at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, the two separated by just .505 of a second but six rows apart. Such is Moto2.

Italtrans Racing Team’s Roberts’ best lap came in Q2, his 1:59.168 putting him fifth and on the second row for tomorrow’s race. The session was led Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Sam Lowes, who will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix from pole position with his 1:58.726 – just .442 of a second ahead of Roberts, who earned pole at Losail a season ago with a best of 1:58.136.”

“I’m quite happy with the position,” Roberts said in a team release. “I think the lap time could be better. I struggled with a couple of things, overall the pace is good and I feel strong for tomorrow. I think the target should be the podium and to battle at the front. I’m feeling really good and happy for this first weekend with the team so far.”

American Racing Team’s Beaubier will start his debut Moto2 race from the eighth row tomorrow, the five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion lapping at a best of 1:59.673 in Q1. Beaubier’s teammate Marcos Ramirez had a big highside crash in Q1 and appeared to have suffered an injury to his right arm.

“I’m improving,” said Beaubier in a team release. “I think it will be really good to get a race under my belt. I’m looking forward to lining up.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez and Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team’s Bo Bendsneyder will join Lowes on the front row. Roberts, meanwhile, will be sandwiched between SKY Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Remy Gardner on the second row for tomorrow’s GP.

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