Moto2 2021
Round 1

Chantra and Ogura Shine in Moto2 Qualifying Sessions in Qatar

qa Losail International Circuit

Moto2 qualifying was dominated by Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), one of the most experienced riders in the class and a favourite for the 2021 title.

Chantra and Ogura Shine in Moto2 Qualifying Sessions in Qatar

30-year-old Briton was also fastest in free practice. Next to him on tomorrow’s grid will be rookie Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), the 20-year-old Spaniard making a stunning entry to the intermediate class. Last man on the front row is 22-year-old Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex).

The second row is three of the riders most likely to challenge Lowes for the title: 22-year-old Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), 23-year-old American Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) and 23-year-old Australian Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex).

As always the Moto2 grid is incredibly closely packed. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) was only 1.1 seconds off pole position but the 22-year-old Thai rider will line up 16th tomorrow. His rookie team-mate Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) just missed moving up from the Q1 session to Q2, so the 20-year-old from Tokyo will start his first Moto2 race from a promising 19th on the grid.

Somkiat Chantra
Somkiat Chantra 35
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
I’m happy to have been in Q2 here in Qatar. It’s a good start to the weekend. Today we worked hard to find the correct set-up, changing some details in the front fork and engine braking. I felt the bike is much easier to ride, but I can ride fast for only three or four laps. We need to be more consistent. Tomorrow, during warm-up, we will try to check how many laps I can do with the tyre.

Ai Ogura
Ai Ogura 79
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
Today I lived my first experience doing a qualifying session in Moto2. Compared to Moto3 here you do a complete session; you’re not planning everything for one lap attack. I'm not happy about my qualifying position, but I’m satisfied with my performance. I didn’t expect anything more. We will see what we can do in the race.

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