Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) came into the British Grand Prix weekend from two brilliant rides at the Red Bull Ring, where he challenged for a first Moto2 victory on both occasions and came away with his first Moto2 podium.
However, Ogura always knew that this weekend would be much more complicated, because this is his first time on a Moto2 bike at Silverstone, which is a long, fast and complex circuit that does not give up its secrets easily. And so it proved.
The 20-year-old from Tokyo has spent the last two days learning the circuit and its 18 corners, getting faster and more competitive with every outing. He completed yesterday morning's FP1 session 25th fastest, moved up to 16th overall at the end of FP3 and went two places better in qualifying. This puts him on the fifth row of the grid for his first Moto2 race at this historic British track.
Ogura's plan is to get a good start and get away with a fast group at a track where close racing is the norm.
Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) will start one row further back from his team-mate, with high hopes of scoring World Championship points for the fourth consecutive race, something the 22-year-old Thai rider has never managed before. Chantra raced here in 2019, his rookie Grand Prix season, finishing a fraction of a second outside the points.
Pole position went to 22-year-old Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), just ahead of 25-year-old Spaniard Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up Boscoscuro) and 30-year-old local hero Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex). Lap times were typically close, with only eighth hundredths of a second covering the front row of the grid.
World championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) will lead the second row, the 23-year-old Australian just one hundredth of a second faster than his team-mate and prime title rival, 20-year-old Spaniard Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex).
The second row of the grid is completed by Spanish Grand Prix winner Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex).
Unusually tomorrow's Moto2 race will be the last race of the day, starting at 14:30 local time.