Motorcycle racing is all about speed and consistency and Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) today proved he has both in abundance, after achieving his second front-row start in back-to-back races at Red Bull Ring.
Last weekend’s second place in qualifying was the 20-year-old from Tokyo’s first front-row start and he went on to challenge for the race win, taking the fastest lap in the process.
This weekend the Moto2 rookie is another race wiser, so he will use everything he learned last Sunday to fight for victory from third on the grid. Ogura’s race pace during practice suggests he has a good chance of doing so – he just needs to remain calm and focused to compete with his rivals, most of whom have much more experience in the category.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) is also full of confidence for the race, after achieving his best qualifying performance of 2021. The 22-year-old Thai rider will lead the third row of the grid after qualifying seventh fastest.
If Chantra gets a good start he has every chance of getting away with Ogura and the rest of the lead group. If he can do that he will learn a huge amount from the category’s fastest riders.
Pole position went to Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who started the first three races of 2021 from pole, but hasn’t done so since. The 30-year-old Briton will be joined on the front row of the grid by 20-year-old Spaniard Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) and Ogura.
The second row of the grid will be led by Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who will start the race next to World Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) and Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2 Boscoscuro).
After two weekends of racing in Austria the Moto2 paddock travels northwest to legendary racing venue Silverstone for the British GP on 29th August.