Moto2 2023
Round 3

Chantra And Ogura On Fifth and Sixth Rows At COTA

us Circuit Of The Americas

Team-mates Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) and Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had a challenging second day of action at the Circuit of Americas, ending 15th and 17th in qualifying.

Chantra And Ogura On Fifth and Sixth Rows At COTA

Ogura is preparing for his first race since breaking a wrist during training in Spain in early March. The 19-year-old from Saitama returned at the Argentine GP earlier this month but didn’t race, because the slippery, rainy conditions made it too risky – another fall might have exacerbated his injuries. This weekend he feels stronger, but certainly not at his best, so his 17th place on the grid is at least a start to his comeback to full form.

Chantra, who scored top-ten results at the opening two races of 2023, in Portugal and Argentina, qualified two places in front of Ogura, after coming through Q1 to the Q2 session. The 24-year-old Thai rider has a talent for charging through the pack in the opening laps, so if he can make good progress in the early stages of tomorrow’s race he has a good chance of scoring his best result of the year so far.

COTA pole went to Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing Kalex), who bettered Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) by 0.020 seconds. The front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race is completed by Filip Salac (QJMotor Gresini Moto2 Kalex). Immediately behind them is row two: Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika Sag Team Kalex), Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp Boscoscuro) and Jake Dixon (Asterius GASGAS Aspar M2 Kalex). The top ten is completed by Jeremy Alcoba (QJMotor Gresini Moto2 Kalex).

Somkiat Chantra
Somkiat Chantra 35
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
In FP3 I crashed at the start of the practice. My team repaired the bike to fight for a place in Q2, but I couldn't. In Q1, I tried to ride smoothly, gaining my place in Q2. At the final practice, I struggled in the first sector, losing too much time to be in a good position on the grid. But tomorrow will be my day, I'm sure.

Ai Ogura
Ai Ogura 79
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
The conditions could have been better in the morning, but I could do many laps. It was an excellent session; I rode pretty well and am happy. In Q2, I had some problems on the bike, and I couldn't finish the practice. I wanted to do many laps this weekend, but the weather and these problems disturbed me slightly. My feeling and body condition is improving, making me positive. It will be a long race for me; I hope it will finish well.

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