It’s been one of the most difficult Grand Prix weekends ever for Italtrans at Motegi. Typhoon Francisco has soaked Japan for two days, upsetting the schedule for the race weekend: no free practices and straight to qualifying on Saturday afternoon. With no training the session brought several surprises and not always welcome. Both Julian Simon and Takaaki Nakagami qualified for positions on the grid far their targets. But on Sunday it was a different story: Julian finished the race in fifth after qualifying 20th and Takaaki moved up to 9th from 23rd on thegrid. The race has been red-flagged in the early stages because of a multiple crash and was restarted later on a shorter distance of 15 laps.
Julian Simon (28’25”477 – 5th) “It hasn’t been my best result this season – I was fourth in Germany – but I’m quite happy with it. After the warm-up in the morning we were uncertain about tire choice: with a shortened race almost everything would be decided at the start and in the first laps. I’ve been lucky in the first corner: I had a great position which allowed me to pass several riders. Then I got stuck quite a long time behind a rider who was slower but tough to pass and lost my chance to stay with the front guys. I want to thank the team for the great job they’ve done during these three races in the Far East: we did a great step forward, even if we haven’t been able to show it on all tracks. And we can do also better. Quite a lot better”.
Matteo Gnesi (Simon Race Engineer) “Julian had a very good race pace, constantly around 1’52. If at the beginning he would have been able to overtake a slower rider more quickly, it would have been easier. The bad weather meant we could not collect the usual amount of data, but we are happy with how we have been able to use it and with Julian’s result”.
Source: AGP Racing
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