Local rider Hiroki Ono came within a tenth of a second of top spot during free practice yesterday and he was even closer to taking pole position today after finishing with the fastest time of qualifying practice only to be penalised and relegated to fourth.
The Japanese rider’s lap of 1’56.443 remains as the best ever at Motegi on a Moto3 bike, although it will be Andrea Migno who starts from the front of the grid in tomorrow’s race ahead of new World Champion Brad Binder and Enea Bastianini. Behind Ono, three Italians take up the next three positions in Nicolò Bulega, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Niccoló Antonelli, with Jorge Navarro, who is fighting with Bastianini for second in the championship, to start the 20-lap race from eleventh position.
Tomorrow presents a tough challenge for Jorge Martín, who suffered a leg injury yesterday that has limited his track time during practice today. In the few laps he has completed the Spaniard has managed to go faster than his best effort here last season but he was unable to qualify any higher than 23rd position.
23rd Jorge Martín 1.57.397 (9 laps):
“We have improved quite a bit but I have hardly been able to complete any laps so I don’t have an ideal set-up for the race. My leg hurts and it is hard for me to complete more than two laps at a time. I will try to get a good start and hang on. We’ll see how the leg responds to the medicine I am taking and if it improves for tomorrow. I have gone faster than last year but I am starting from a long way back so it is difficult to be happy.”
Source: Aspar Media
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