Rd.16 MICHELIN® AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Ambient: 15℃ / Track: 24℃
Honda Team Asia’s Moto3 rookies Nakarin Atiratphuvapat and Kaito Toba finished today’s Australian Grand Prix in 17th and 20th places, respectively.
Cold and persistent rain in the morning had stopped by the time the race for the light-weight category started, but the track surface was still left with wet patches.
Starting from a tough 28th place on the grid, Atiratphuvapat nonetheless managed to gain 5 places by the end of the opening lap. The Thai rider cautiously yet consistently improved his position, but the red flag shown due to the rainfall, put an end to his solid ride on Lap 15, at which race results were fixed.
Toba started the race from the 30th grid place. The Japanese youngster tried everything to gain places, but the red flag was brought out when he was in 20th position.
For the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 is set to start at 9:00 (GMT +8) local time on October 27.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat （17th, 25’16.783 / +25.293）
“I was cautious, especially during the first few laps because there were some damp patches remaining. I saw many riders crashing, so I expected I could collect some championship points, but it started raining and race was finished. For the Malaysian Grand Prix, many people will come to see the race from Thailand to cheer me on. I will give 150% because I know the track very well.”
Kaito Toba （20th, 25’35.188 / +43.698）
“It was a very difficult race because I was pulled away from the beginning. In the past few rounds, I've struggled from the start of race weekend, which I want to fix in the Malaysian Grand Prix next week. I have good memories with the track because I won the of Asia Talent Cup title there in 2014, so I can do my best again.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Although we didn’t make any specific modifications to Kaito’s bike, he struggled with stability in the front when entering turns. We have a warm weekend next week so that he can try again with a more relaxed mood both physically and mentally. At the beginning of the race, the surface was 70% dry, but there were still some damp patches. With such a complicated situation, I expected Nakarin would gain more places, but he couldn’t push too hard because there were many crashes. The next venue, Sepang circuit is very close to Thailand so that he can bring out his natural performance. Anyway, Kaito and Nakarin don’t have to be disappointed with today’s results because it was the first experience for them. I know they can do better in Sepang.”