Rd.04 GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE ESPAÑA: Sunday, May 07, 2017
Ambient: 27℃ / Track: 40℃
Podium-hopeful in the 25-lap Spanish Grand Prix, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami was involved in a multi-bike crash in the early stages. After re-joining the race, the Japanese rider crossed the line in 21st place. Team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi was involved in another crash, and retired after a heated, and hopeful battle.
Starting the race from 8th on the grid, Nakagami patiently waited for an opportunity to overtake, by at Turn 6 on Lap 3, was suddenly hit by another rider. Although he re-joined the race immediately after the unfortunate incident and managed to finish the race, it was not the result the team had expected for this weekend. Pawi, starting from 16th, contested a thrilling battle with experienced riders and improved his positions in a steady rhythm to 9th. He unfortunately lost his front at Turn 13 on Lap 14, and retired.
Round 5 of the season, the French Grand Prix commences on May 19, with Free Practice 1 for the intermediate class set to start at 10:55 local time (GMT +2).
Takaaki Nakagami (21st, 44'07.632, +43.282)
“We have improved bike's feel in the morning’s Warm Up, and I thought the podium was within reach, but our expectation was washed away by sudden misfortune. I have no words to describe my empty feeling. After the re-start, I tried to finish the race to collect as much data as possible. Knowing that the championship is still long, we are coming back to get the best results in Le Mans.”
Khairul Idham Pawi (DNF)
“Even though I crashed and retired, it was a good race to get back my confidence. From the beginning, it was very difficult to manage the tires because of the high track temperature. Many times I almost crashed, but finally, I lost the front. Thanks to my team’s great support, I was able to show a good performance today. I will achieve good results in the next race.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“I am very disappointed with Nakagami’s crash because he was hit by another rider and it was not our rider’s fault. This weekend, we had to take time to find a good feel with his bike, which is the point we have to improve for the next race. In Le Mans, we will try hard to bring out Taka’s potential from Free Practice 1. Pawi and his team were very disappointed with his crash, but I think they did a very good job. This is another important experience for him to gain confidence.”