Moto2 2021
Round 16

Qualifying Crash Puts Ogura 18th On Grid

sm Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Moto2 rookie Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had great hopes of another excellent qualifying performance, after riding the seventh fastest lap in the first three practice sessions at Misano.

Qualifying Crash Puts Ogura 18th On Grid

Weather and track conditions have been cold and damp since practice got underway yesterday, with the rain finally clearing this morning, leaving the track largely dry for qualifying, but also damp in places and cool, making the going particularly treacherous. There were numerous crashes in Moto2 qualifying - with all riders walking away - and Ogura was one of them, sliding off at the Turn 15 left-hander. The vast majority of today’s accidents took place in lefts, because Misano runs clockwise, so it’s not easy for riders to get sufficient heat into the left side of the tyres for the infrequent left-handers.

The crash left Ogura unable to fight for a position closer to the front of the grid and he will start the race from the sixth row, with 18th fastest lap time. That will make the race difficult for the 20-year-old from Tokyo, who finished seventh here five weeks ago, at the San Marino GP.

Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) excelled in the conditions, completing the first three practice sessions, in ninth, just two positions behind his team-mate. The 22-year-old Thai rider was similarly impressive in qualifying, going tenth quickest, his fourth top-ten qualifying performance of 2021.

Pole position went to Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who hasn’t won a race since he dominated the first two rounds in Qatar. The British veteran bettered Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up Boscoscuro) by 0.045 seconds, with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) completing the front row.

Moto2 World Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) and his great title rival Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), had a difficult day, ending up ninth and 14th. The pair are currently separated by just nine points, with a maximum of 75 points available at the final three races, so they have a big job in front of them to fight towards the front tomorrow.

Somkiat Chantra
Somkiat Chantra 35
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
In FP3 I tried to push but the conditions of the circuit were changing, from wet to dry. It was complicated to improve the lap time from yesterday so we dedicated the practice to preparing for Q2. The qualifying session was dry, but the asphalt was very delicate. I tried to push hard initially because it started to rain again at the end of the practice. I'm happy about this P10.

Ai Ogura
Ai Ogura 79
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
In the morning session, when the conditions were wet, we made a good step ahead. From yesterday I’ve got a better feeling than I had in the other wet practices of this year. I’m happy about this. In Q2 the track conditions were complicated. It was hard to find where the limit was, and I crashed. I will start from the back tomorrow; we will see how the weather is. It seems it will be dry. I will push as much as possible to finish in the best position.

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