Moto2 rookie Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) aims to continue his impressive start to his first season in the intermediate class after a luckless outing in Portugal two weeks ago.
The 20-year-old from Tokyo went into the Portuguese GP full of confidence following a superb ride to fifth in the Doha GP, only his second race on a Moto2 bike. He was once again flying high, riding well inside the top ten, when he crashed through no fault of his own, after another rider made contact with him.
Ogura knows Jerez well and learned plenty about getting the maximum out of a Moto2 bike there during preseason testing at the track. Last year he finished the Jerez Moto3 race in second place, just 0.340 seconds behind the winner. He went on to finish second overall in the Moto3 World Championship.
Unluckily team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) was also caught up in the incident and also fell. The 22-year-old Thai rider was having his best ride of 2021 so far and was super-disappointed that he was denied the chance to score his first points of the year. It’s clear that Chantra can fight for points on Sunday, if his current form continues.
The 2021 Moto2 World Championship is currently led by Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), son of Honda’s 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, who won the 1987 and 1990 500cc GPs at the track. The 23-year-old Australian has yet to win a race this year, but his three podium finishes put him four points ahead of 20-year-old stellar rookie Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex). Third overall is 30-year-old Briton Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who won the first two races, then crashed out at the very first corner at Portimao.