Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) and Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) rode their best combined qualifying session of the year so far, qualifying seventh and ninth fastest at Barcelona-Catalunya this afternoon.
Ogura will lead the third row of the grid tomorrow, his best qualifying performance since April’s Portuguese Grand Prix, only 0.042 seconds outside the second row and just sixth tenths slower than pole position. And all this despite a tumble at the start of the FP3 practice session.
The 20-year-old from Tokyo is riding a spectacular rookie season in Moto2 after finishing second in last year’s Moto3 World Championship aboard a Honda NSF250RW. His best Moto2 results so far are a sixth-place finish at Mugello last Sunday and a fifth at the Doha GP in early April.
Chantra was delighted with his strongest ride in qualifying since he started the 2019 Japanese GP from the second row of the grid. The 22-year-old Thai rider will start the race from the other side of row three, with Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) between them.
Pole position went to World Championship leader and Mugello winner Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), who bettered his team-mate and closest title rival Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) by less than two tenths of a second. The front row is completed by Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex), making his first appearance inside the top three since the season-opening Qatar GP.
The second row of the grid comprises Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex) and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex).
After tomorrow’s race the Moto2 title chase continues at the German GP and Dutch TT, on 20 June and 27 June.