Rd.16 MICHELIN AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX: Friday, October 20, 2017
Ambient: 13℃ / Track: 25℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami set the 7th quickest lap time of 1m 33s921 in today’s 45-minute Australian Grand Prix Qualifying. He will start tomorrow’s race from 7th grid on Row 3. Teammate Khairul Idham Pawi will start the race further down the grid, from 28th place. His best qualifying lap time was 1m 35s918.
Free Practice 3 started under tricky conditions with damp patches remaining from the rain in the previous MotoGP session. After taking a wait-and-see approach for a while, Nakagami was on the track in the middle of the session. Soon after that, he fell at the entry of Turn 10. He got back into the session again just a few minutes before the end. In the meantime, Pawi made a steady progress and set the 18th quickest lap of the session.
In the 45-minute qualifying session, Nakagami struggled to get rear-grip, His best lap time was 0.621 off pole, which gave him a third row start. Although Pawi made solid progress, he suffered from chattering on his hot lap, and he could not push as hard as he had intended to. Both riders closely analyzed their data with their skilled team staff to prepare for the race.
The next Moto2 session, the 20-minute Warm Up will start at 11:10 am local time tomorrow (GMT +11) before the 25-lap Australian Grand Prix commences at 2:20 pm.
Takaaki Nakagami (7th, 1’ 33.921, +0.621)
“In Qualifying, I couldn’t get enough rear-grip, which caused the rear to spin and destabilize the bike exiting the turns. At high-speed turns I suffered from it a lot, especially Turns 11 and 12. We didn’t change the setup from yesterday, so now we have a meeting with my team to find out what this problem is. When I get back the good feel I had on Friday, I am confident to have a good race.”
Khairul Idham Pawi (28th, 1’ 35.918, +2.618)
“This morning we improved the issue with the front that we had yesterday. But at the end of Qualifying, I had serious chattering on my hot lap. I could not push hard enough because I almost lost my racing-line whenever I accelerated hard. Now we have a technical meeting with my team to fix this problem. For tomorrow, I will do my best to improve my lap times regardless of the weather.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“This afternoon there was sporadic rain and it might have somewhat affected track conditions. Anyway, we will carefully look into the data to solve Taka’s problems. When he gets back the rhythm he had yesterday, he will be very competitive in tomorrow’s race.
For Pawi, He made good progress in this morning’s Free Practice 3. However, his bike had chattering at the very end of Qualifying. Knowing sometimes these things can happen, I feel sorry for him. We will look into the cause of his problems to prepare the best bike for the race”