Moto2 2022
Round 7

Torrid Le Mans Qualifying For Ogura And Chantra

fr Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix Race

Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) and Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) had a torrid Saturday afternoon after making a superb start to the French Grand Prix, the seventh of this year’s 21 races.

Torrid Le Mans Qualifying For Ogura And Chantra

Chantra ended Friday fastest and was a close third quickest at the end of this morning’s final free practice session, less than a quarter of a second off the best time. Meanwhile team-mate Ogura was also showing impressive speed, ending Friday ninth and improving to sixth this morning.

Therefore both riders looked more than capable of fighting for front-row starts in the Q2 qualifying session. Sadly, neither could repeat or better their free-practice positions, both falling without injury in the attempt.

Ogura, who two weeks ago at the Spanish Grand Prix won his first GP, started Q2 well, moving into fourth place, but then the 21-year-old from Tokyo slid off trying to get inside the top three, for a front-row start. Indonesian GP winner Chantra was ninth halfway through the 15-minute outing, tumbling in the final moments as the 23-year-old Thai rider tried to get closer to the front of the grid.

Ogura, currently second overall in the championship standings, will start the race from the middle of the third row in eighth place. Chantra will get the race underway immediately behind his team-mate, from row four in 11th.

Pole position went to rookie and reigning Moto3 World Champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), the Spanish teenager’s first in the intermediate class. He will be joined on the front row by Jake Dixon (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) and Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo).

The second row features Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Albert Arenas (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) and Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up Boscoscuro). World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) will start the race from 19th.

Rounds eight and nine are back-to-back races, with the Italian GP on May 29 and the Catalan GP on June 5.

Ai Ogura
Ai Ogura 79
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
It wasn't a lovely day today. FP3 was quite good, even though we struggled a bit in the second outing. In the qualifying session we set up the bike a little different from FP3 and for me it worked well. It's a shame that in my second attack lap, I crashed. We cannot see the accurate picture, but we've seen that we are pretty good, not as fast the fastest riders but on a good way for tomorrow. I will start from eighth. The top three tomorrow will be difficult – we should concentrate on gaining positions during the race.

Somkiat Chantra
Somkiat Chantra 35
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
We started the day quite well, with a promising FP3, despite the fact that I crashed at the end of practice, trying to do something different. After repairing the bike I tried to do my best to be in the front row in Q2, but finally I will start tomorrow from P11, after another crash. I'm optimistic about tomorrow's race because my pace is excellent and constant.

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