Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) started the second part of the season in the best possible way at sunny Silverstone today, taking a front row start for the British Moto2 round, following the paddock’s five-week mid-season break.
The 21-year-old from Tokyo has shown great pace here today, following a steadier start to the weekend yesterday, when he was seventh as he worked to get back into the groove after so long off a Moto2 bike. He ended qualifying just behind pole-position-man Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull Ajo Kalex) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex).
Ogura currently stands third in the 2022 Moto2 World Championship, only one point behind joint leaders Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team Kalex), who has been given a long-lap penalty for tomorrow following an incorrect practice start, and Fernandez, so the battle between these three over the next few weeks will be intense. Today Vietti qualified fifth quickest, so he will start from the second row of the grid.
The Italian youngster will be joined on row two by fourth-fastest Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team) and sixth-placed local star Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team). The top ten is completed by Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex), Alonso Lopez (CAG Speed Up Boscoscuro), Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex) and Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40 Kalex).
Ogura’s team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) did brilliantly to fight his way through from Q1 to Q2 but he found the going tougher in his second qualifying outing.
Moto2’s next stop is the Red Bull Ring, venue for the Austrian Grand Prix on 21 August.