Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) had a strong qualifying session around super-fast Mugello today, putting himself on the second row for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix Moto2 race.
The 21-year-old from Tokyo ended the 15-minute Q2 session less than two tenths of a second outside a position on the front row and only 0.357 seconds off pole position. He is therefore sure he can fight in the lead group tomorrow.
Although rain fell at Mugello at various times today the Moto2 class was lucky to have a dry track pretty much throughout and the latest weather forecast predicts a dry Sunday, for the eighth of this year’s 20 Moto2 races (cut from 21 following the recent cancellation of July’s Finnish GP).
Ogura currently stands second overall in the fight for the 2022 Moto2 World Championship, only 16 points behind leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), who he has beaten at the last two races.
Ogura won the first Grand Prix of his career at the Spanish GP earlier this month and finished a hard-fought fifth in France two weeks ago, so he is ready to work to close the gap further on Vietti tomorrow afternoon.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) had a more difficult day. The winner of round two in Indonesia in late March couldn’t make it into Q2 directly and made some mistakes in Q1, which leaves him on the eighth row of the grid with plenty of work to do tomorrow.
Pole position went to Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) who is third overall in the championship, only three points behind Ogura. He will share the front row with rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Moto2 veteran Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team).
The second row of the grid consists of Vietti, wild card Mattia Pasini (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) and Ogura.
Moto2 riders contest the Catalan GP next weekend, before one weekend off, followed by the German and Dutch rounds on consecutive Sundays.