Ogura Commences Podium Challenge From Fourth At Assen
Moto2 World Championship hopeful Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) has a great chance of strengthening his title challenge in tomorrow’s Dutch TT after qualifying fourth fastest today.
The 21-year-old from Tokyo will lead the second row of the grid, after missing a front-row start by just 0.020 seconds. Ogura is currently second overall in the championship, after ten of 20 rounds. If he can make a good start and fight with the lead group he has a real chance of reducing the eight-point deficit to championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team Kalex), who will start this race from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying 11th.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) qualified in 16th place. The weekend has been complicated for all riders by yesterday’s wet weather, so no one got to ride a dry track until this morning. Chantra ended Friday in 12th and hopeful of better today but a settings change, aimed to improved his speed for qualifying, didn’t work as hoped.
Moto2 pole position went to Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), who bettered team-mate and former Moto3 World Champion Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) by 0.011 seconds.
This was the third time that 26-year-old Briton will start from pole, after topping Q2 in Indonesia and leading a depleted grid for a restarted race in Portugal. Tomorrow Dixon will aim for the second podium result of his Grand Prix career, following his first top-three in April’s Grand Prix of the Americas.
The Aspar pair will be joined on the front row by Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who achieved his first pole and second podium of the season in last weekend’s German GP.
The second row of the grid will be Ogura, Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up Boscoscuro) and Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40 Kalex 12), with the top ten completed by Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex), German GP winner Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull Ajo Kalex) and Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex).
Tomorrow’s racing is followed by a five-week break, with the 2022 Moto2 series resuming at the British GP in early August.