Advertisement

Motegi Moto2

Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter) earned his second pole position in the Moto2 class – his first was in Indianapolis – in another tightly fought qualifying session. What made his performance more impressive was that he had a cushion of 0.284s on the second fastest rider, Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team, Suter). Discounting Simon’s cushion, the riders from second to 18th are covered by the same second.

Redding was on the front row for the fourth race in a row and aware of its importance. With such a tight field, getting into the first corner ahead of the scrum was important, and Redding had put himself in a great spot heading into Sunday’s 13th round of the Moto2 World Championship. His best lap came late in the hour as his crew continued to improve his machine. Redding was lucky to find a clear track as the session wound down, a rarity with 41 motorcycles, and he made the most of it, setting his best lap on the 17th of his 18 laps.

Advertisement

Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing, Tech 3) was on the front row for the fourth time this season and the first since the Catalunya race in late June where he earned his maiden Moto2 victory from second on the grid. Now third, the Japanese rider was looking forward to a similar result in his home country and in honour of his late friend, Shoya Tomizawa, who will be honoured on race day.

World Championship leader Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) qualified at the end of the front row in a bid to return to winning form. He’d arrived in Japan with a class leading six wins, including four in a row leading up to the last race in Aragon, Spain, and that performance had elevated him well above the championship fray.

Going into Sunday’s race, the first of the final five, Elias holds a 76 point lead on Simon. Elias might have been closer to the pole, but he was surprised to find that the softer rear tyre didn’t offer a significant performance upgrade.

HONDA Moto2 RIDER QUOTES

Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter: 1st – 1m, 53.008s) says: “The grid is very close on lap times. I will try to win tomorrow because I have a good feeling at this track and I rode a good session, staying in front most of the time. And I have a good rhythm, so tomorrow I think I can have a good race with Toni. We wait to see what the weather will bring, but rain or dry is okay for me. I enjoy Moto2 and I like this track, so I can make a good race tomorrow. The start of the race is always very important in Moto2, so from the first corner I will be trying to win.”

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team, Suter: 2nd – 1m, 53.292s) says: “I’m happy to be on the front row for the fourth race in a row, especially as we had some problems with the bike today. Traction is a real issue here and I had a crash at the hairpin this morning after running out of grip. We made some changes to the bike ahead of qualifying and then continued improving the set-up during the first half of the session.”

“I was lucky to get a clear track right at the end of qualifying and managed to string a good fast lap together to finish second behind Julian Simon. The race will be tough, as grip is a real issue here, but I’ve got my sights set firmly on the podium and I’ll be pushing as hard as I can to achieve this tomorrow.”

Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing, Tech 3: 3rd – 1m, 53.439s) says: “I am really happy to be on the front row of the grid for my home race. It is always special to race in front of the home fans and we’ve all had to wait a long time for this moment after the race was cancelled in April. I am really satisfied that we could get third because it has not been an easy weekend and my Tech 3 Racing crew have been working really hard to improve the bike.”

“We have had to change the bike a lot but we have finally found a setting that allows me to push at my limit. At the end of the session I had a good rhythm and I was able to get third position on my last lap. I think that Shoya (Tomizawa) was with me on that last lap and now I am going to give my maximum effort tomorrow to get a good result for him.”

Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki: 4th – 1m, 53.504s) says: “I am happy because a front row start is definitely an improvement on Aragon but I was hoping for more because I have been fast on a race tyre and I expected a bigger improvement on the soft compound. To be honest I thought I could take another half a second off but it wasn’t to be the case. Anyway, we have to take fourth place, which still isn’t bad, and hope for a good start tomorrow that can help us fight for the win.”

Pole position : 1m53.008s (152.941Km/h) Julian Simon, Mapfre Aspar Team
Circuit Best Lap : 1m53.008s (152.941Km/h) Julian Simon, Mapfre Aspar Team

Moto2 Qualifying Positions
1. Julian Simon 1m53.008s SPA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
2. Scott Redding +0.284s GBR HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
3. Yuki Takahashi +0.431s JAP HONDA Tech 3 Racing
4. Toni Elias +0.496s SPA HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2
5. Claudio Corti +0.499s ITA HONDA Forward Racing
6. Alex De Angelis +0.537s SMR HONDA JiR Moto2
7. Karel Abraham +0.553s CZE HONDA Cardion AB Motoracing
8. Stefan Bradl +0.583s GER HONDA Viessman Kiefer Racing
9. Yonny Hernandez +0.593s COL HONDA Blusens-STX
10. Andrea Iannone +0.739s ITA HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
11. Roberto Rolfo +0.809s ITA HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
12. Dominique Aegerter +0.822s SWI HONDA Technomag-CIP
13. Jules Cluzel +0.912s FRA HONDA Forward Racing
14. Fonsi Nieto +0.921s SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
15. Alex Baldolini +0.946s ITA HONDA Caretta Technology Race Dept
16. Thomas Luthi +0.953s SWI HONDA Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2
17. Raffaele De Rosa +1.062s ITA HONDA Tech 3 Racing
18. Simone Corsi +1.244s ITA HONDA JiR Moto2
19. Mike De Meglio +1.355s FRA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
20. Sergio Gadea +1.382s SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
21. Kenny Noyes +1.409s USA HONDA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas
22. Ratthapark Wilairot +1.490s THA HONDA Thai – Honda PTT Singha SAG Team
23. Michael Ranseder +1.496s AUT HONDA Vector Kiefer Racing
24. Hector Faubel +1.521s SPA HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
25. Yusuke Teshima +1.557s JPN HONDA JiR Moto2
26. Alex Debon +1.588s SPA HONDA Aeroport de Castello – Ajo
28. Gabor Talmacsi +1.637s HUN HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
29. Axel Pons +1.829s SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
30. Kazuki Watanabe +2.405s JPN HONDA Racing Team Germany
31. Anthony West +2.536s AUS HONDA MZ Racing
32. Valentin Debise +2.540s FRA HONDA WTR San Marino Team
33. Ferruccio Lamborghini +2.947s ITA HONDA Forward Racing
34. Ricard Cardus +3.131s SPA HONDA Maquinza-SAG Team
35. Robertino Pietri +3.140s VEN HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
36. Mashel Al Naimi +3.272s QAT HONDA Blusens-STX
37. Joan Olive +3.437s SPA HONDA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas
38. Yannick Guerra +3.466s SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
39. Vladimir Ivanov +3.616s RUS HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2

Moto2 Championship Standings
1. Toni Elias 224 pts SPA HONDA Gresini Racing Moto2
2. Julian Simon 148 pts SPA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
3. Andrea Iannone 144 pts ITA HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
4. Thomas Luthi 130 pts SWI HONDA Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2
5. Simone Corsi 108 pts ITA HONDA JiR Moto2
6. Gabor Talmacsi 95 pts HUN HONDA Fimmco Speed Up
7. Jules Cluzel 94 pts FRA HONDA Forward Racing
8. Shoya Tomizawa 82 pts JPN HONDA Technomag-CIP
9. Yuki Takahashi 76 pts JAP HONDA Tech 3 Racing
10. Sergio Gadea 59 pts SPA HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
11. Scott Redding 47 pts GBR HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
12. Alex Debon 46 pts SPA HONDA Aeroport de Castello – Ajo
13. Dominique Aegerter 45 pts SWI HONDA Technomag-CIP
14. Stefan Bradl 43 pts GER HONDA Viessman Kiefer Racing
15. Roberto Rolfo 43 pts ITA HONDA Italtrans S.T.R.
16. Fonsi Nieto 41 pts SPA HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
17. Karel Abraham 33 pts CZE HONDA Cardion AB Motoracing
18. Ratthapark Wilairot 30 pts THA HONDA Thai – Honda PTT Singha SAG Team
19. Yonny Hernandez 27 pts COL HONDA Blusens-STX
20. Mike De Meglio 24 pts FRA HONDA Mapfre Aspar Team
21. Kenny Noyes 18 pts USA HONDA Jack & Jones by A.Banderas
22. Anthony West 17 pts AUS HONDA MZ Racing
23. Claudio Corti 16 pts ITA HONDA Forward Racing
24. Alex Baldolini 14 pts ITA HONDA Caretta Technology Race Dept
25. Mattia Pasini 12 pts ITA HONDA JiR Moto2
26. Alex De Angelis 11 pts SMR HONDA JiR Moto2
27. Xavier Simeon 9 pts BEL HONDA G22 Holiday Gym
28. Damian Cudlin 9 pts AUS HONDA Tenerife 40 Pons
29. Hector Faubel 8 pts SPA HONDA Marc VDS Racing Team
30. Jason Di Salvo 7 pts USA HONDA GP Tech