Somkiat Chantra will lead a IDEMITSU Honda Asia 1-2 on the grid for the Japanese Moto2 after carrying his scintillating practice form through to a first pole position of the season at Motegi.
The Thai rider has been in unbeatable form on the Kalex so far this weekend, the Thai rider topping all three practice sessions in the run up to qualifying before breaking Johann Zarco’s seven-year old Moto2 lap record to take pole in Q2.
A day to remember for Hiroshi Aoyama’s IDEMITSU Honda Asia Team, local favourite Ai Ogura complemented Chantra’s effort by placing his sister machine into second place, the duo heading into Sunday’s Moto2 race as the more unfamiliar favourites.
Joining the Asian riders on the front row will be Jake Dixon, who produced arguably the most surprising Q2 performance with the third fastest time.
Having struggled in free practice to unusually find himself having to come through Q1, even then Dixon only just squeezed through to Q2 with the fourth fastest time of the short session.
However, once in Q2, Dixon found his rhythm on the GasGas Aspar machine to upset the weekend formbook so far and get ahead of his main rivals.
It means Pedro Acosta will be coming from fourth on the grid, the championship leader well-placed but not looking quite as emphatic in his speed this weekend. However, he does hold a big advantage over main title rival Tony Arbolino, whose hopes of closing the already sizeable 37 point margin to Acosta were dealt a blow when he could only manage 13th on the grid.
Filip Salac made gains between sessions to complete the top five on the Gresini machine, ahead of Alonso Lopez, who starts sixth but will have to take two long-lap penalties in the race by virtue of his indiscretions a weekend earlier.
Aron Canet heads up row three, with the rider he swiped out of the Indian Moto2 on lap one last weekend, Sam Lowes alongside him in eighth, with Fermin Aldeguer ninth and Manuel Gonzalez rounding out the top ten.
|2023 Japanese Moto2 | Motegi Twin Ring | Qualifying Results | Round 14 of 20|
|1||Somkiat Chantra||🇹🇭||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 49.898|
|2||Ai Ogura||🇯🇵||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||1m 50.018|
|3||Jake Dixon||🇬🇧||GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 50.058|
|4||Pedro Acosta||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 50.131|
|5||Filip Salac||🇨🇿||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 50.138|
|6||Alonso Lopez||🇪🇦||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 50.150|
|7||Aron Canet||🇪🇦||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 50.192|
|8||Sam Lowes||🇬🇧||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 50.237|
|9||Fermin Aldeguer||🇪🇦||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||1m 50.362|
|10||Manuel Gonzalez||🇪🇦||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||1m 50.511|
|11||Joe Roberts||🇺🇸||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 50.547|
|12||Marcos Ramirez||🇪🇦||American Racing||Kalex||1m 50.561|
|13||Tony Arbolino||🇮🇹||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||1m 50.672|
|14||Sergio Garcia||🇪🇦||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||1m 50.831|
|15||Zonta van den Goorbergh||🇳🇱||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 50.869|
|16||Dennis Foggia||🇮🇹||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||1m 50.945|
|17||Barry Baltus||🇧🇪||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||1m 51.054|
|18||Darryn Binder||🇿🇦||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 51.178|
|19||Izan Guevara||🇪🇦||GasGas Aspar||Kalex||1m 50.486|
|20||Albert Arenas||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||1m 50.564|
|21||Bo Bendsneyder||🇳🇱||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 50.598|
|22||Kohta Nozane||🇯🇵||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||1m 50.824|
|23||Jeremy Alcoba||🇪🇦||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||1m 50.876|
|24||Taiga Hada||🇯🇵||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||1m 51.238|
|25||Sean Dylan Kelly||🇺🇸||Forward Team||Forward||1m 51.608|
|26||Borja Gomez||🇪🇦||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 51.643|
|27||Rory Skinner||🇬🇧||American Racing||Kalex||1m 51.742|
|28||Alberto Surra||🇮🇹||Forward Team||Forward||1m 51.769|
|29||Senna Agius||🇦🇺||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||1m 51.881|
|30||Mattia Casadei||🇮🇹||Fantic Racing||Kalex||1m 52.197|