Somkiat Chantra earmarked himself as the rider to beat on the opening day of action for the Japanese Moto2 at Motegi, the Thai rider leading the way in both P1 and P2.
Still searching for his first win of the 2023 Moto2 season, the IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia bike, Chantra got his weekend to a perfect start around his employers’ home venue with a best lap of 1m 50.396secs.
It was enough to put him just clear of Aron Canet, the Spaniard making good gains between sessions to end his day in second place.
Sam Lowes made it a top three of riders whose Indian Moto2 races the previous weekend were ended on the opening lap, the Marc VDS Racing rider recovering from a fall in P1 to look strong by the end of the day.
With rain threatening to scupper improvements in tomorrow’s P3 session, championship leader Pedro Acosta was a crucial fourth on the Red Bull KTM Ajo, but there was frustration for his two closest rivals in the overall standings, Tony Arbolino and Jake Dixon, after they could only manage 18th and 15th respectively.
Ai Ogura delighted the home fans with a run to the top five in P2, ahead of Marcos Ramirez, the mid-season replacement for Sean Dylan Kelly at American Racing once again putting himself in the shop window for 2024 with the sixth best time, just ahead of the rider who will ultimately succeed him in the team next year, Joe Roberts.
Manuel Gonzalez ended his day in eighth, ahead of Izan Guevara - the 2022 Moto3 World Champion enjoying his best start to a Moto2 race weekend yet in ninth - and Albert Arenas in tenth.
|2023 Japanese Moto2 | Motegi Twin Ring | Combined Practice Results [P1+P2] | Round 14 of 20|
|1||Somkiat Chantra||🇹🇭||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 50.396|
|2||Aron Canet||🇪🇦||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 50.433|
|3||Sam Lowes||🇬🇧||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 50.546|
|4||Pedro Acosta||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 50.646|
|5||Ai Ogura||🇯🇵||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 50.804|
|6||Marcos Ramirez||🇪🇦||American Racing||Kalex||1m 50.818|
|7||Dennis Foggia||🇮🇹||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 51.025|
|8||Manuel Gonzalez||🇪🇦||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||1m 51.044|
|9||Izan Guevara||🇪🇦||GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 51.064|
|10||Albert Arenas||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 51.082|
|11||Joe Roberts||🇺🇸||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 51.095|
|12||Alonso Lopez||🇪🇦||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 51.237|
|13||Bo Bendsneyder||🇳🇱||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 51.358|
|14||Barry Baltus||🇧🇪||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 51.362|
|15||Jake Dixon||🇬🇧||GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 51.399|
|16||Fermin Aldeguer||🇪🇦||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 51.563|
|17||Jeremy Alcoba||🇪🇦||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 51.604|
|18||Darryn Binder||🇿🇦||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 51.632|
|19||Zonta van den Goorbergh||🇳🇱||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 51.636|
|20||Tony Arbolino||🇮🇹||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 51.678|
|21||Kohta Nozane||🇯🇵||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||1m 51.711|
|22||Filip Salac||🇨🇿||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 51.712|
|23||Taiga Hada||🇯🇵||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 51.769|
|24||Alberto Surra||🇮🇹||Forward Team||Forward||1m 52.018|
|25||Sergio Garcia||🇪🇦||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 52.227|
|26||Sean Dylan Kelly||🇺🇸||Forward Team||Forward||1m 52.411|
|27||Rory Skinner||🇬🇧||American Racing||Kalex||1m 52.434|
|28||Borja Gomez||🇪🇦||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 52.672|
|29||Mattia Casadei||🇮🇹||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 53.029|
|30||Senna Agius||🇦🇺||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 53.339|