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Date on top in Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Motegi QP

Date on top in Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Motegi QP

As the sun began to set behind the high banking of the Motegi circuit, the qualifying session of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup got underway and track temperatures along the start straight began dropping rapidly as shadows crept across the track.

It was just three laps before the real action began with one of the local favourites, Ryo Mizuno, crashing out as he lost the front of his Honda NSF250R machine on the entry to turn three. He was joined in the gravel shortly after by Tsurugi Kitami and the two rushed back to the pits together only to discover that unlike practice there was no spare bike waiting for them to take back on track, and that means both will be at the back of the field for Sunday’s race.

At the sharp end it was Kaito Toba who was setting the early pace as the times began to drop below those of free practice. That was until Yuta Date showed his pace, by posting a lap time a full second faster than Toba. That lap of 2’02.486 would be fast enough for Date to claim pole position, as despite his best efforts to respond Toba could only close the gap marginally. Shafiq Rasol of Malaysia completes the front row of the grid ahead of Thai rider Nakarin Atiratphuvapat, the pole sitter from the last round in Malaysia.

As the session drew to a close and the riders pushed for those final few tenths there was one last incident as Azhar Noor, the lone Singapore rider, sent his bike cartwheeling through the gravel. That machine won’t race again as the frame was broken in two by the force of the impact, but Noor will and he will line up on the grid tomorrow in 18th place.

For full Motegi Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup QP results click here.

Sunday’s race takes place at 3.45pm local time.


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