VisionTrack Honda’s Scott Ogden secured the best qualifying to date of his Moto3 World Championship career at COTA on Saturday.
A tricky weekend at the vast Texan track had initially seen the British rookie struggle on the fringes of the top 20 as he prepared for the AmericasGP. A stunning Q1 session, however, made the paddock sit up and take notice as he briefly topped the times with a 2’16.871 lap, four-tenths fastest than his previous best. While he ultimately completed the opening 15 minutes second to PruestalGP’s Xavi Artigas his promotion was secure.
Consistent pace in the final action saw the 18-year-old enjoy his best qualifying performance of his rookie career with a 2’16.856 lap claiming 12th amongst the fastest 18 riders to line up on the fourth row for Sunday’s later-than-usual 17-lap race.
“This weekend’s been difficult up until qualifying,” Ogden admitted to Bikesportnews.com from Austin. “I struggled to do the one lap but had good pace and then in qualifying something clicked a little bit and I was able to do the lap alone in the first session and in traffic.
“It was a shock because there was so much traffic and when I came over the line and saw the lap time, it was a big step!
“In the second session, we only had one tyre so it was more difficult, but I pushed hard. I did my best and in the end it was my best qualifying. On the whole, it’s really good and I think we can improve tomorrow and just try and get a good start.
“The main thing is the start because I know I’ve got the pace. So yeah, just gotta make the start!
“I’m chuffed to bits for him,” Team Manager Taylor Mackenzie added. “I knew he had that in him for the first four races to be honest, but it’s just been a little bit of bad lack. A few little mistakes that he’s got on top off.
“He was in a really good mindset before he went out and he’s confident doing the lap times on his own.
“He doesn’t necessarily sit and wait for a slipstream, which is great to see as well. I’m confident when it all comes together, he’ll get a good result.”