Chantra stakes early claim in Japan with Friday double

The Thai rider ended the day atop both Moto2™ sessions, and looks a strong contender for glory at Motegi

Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) cemented himself as an early frontrunner in Moto2™ at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan with a comprehensive display on his Triumph-powered machine in Practice 2 on Friday. The Thai rider had already established his dominance at Mobility Resort Motegi, having been quickest on the grid in the previous practice session. His work wasn’t finished however, and the 24-year-old went on to record a 1:50.396. It was exactly the response he needed after failing to finish the first lap last weekend at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India.

Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) was close behind with a time of 1:50.433, salvaging his day with a late charge. Meanwhile, Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) also recovered well after going down in Practice 1.

With the prospect of rain looming on the horizon for tomorrow morning’s third and final practice session, Practice 2 took on additional importance and could well prove critical for qualifying.

The current Moto2™ Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was unable to break into the top three, finding himself fourth and a tenth of a second behind Sam Lowes after the chequered flag. His title rival Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) finds his qualifying position in peril, finishing 18th on the combined timing sheets after only managing a 1:51.414.

Despite the threat of adverse weather conditions, everything is still to play for in Moto2™ with tomorrow’s Practice 3 scheduled for 9:25 AM local time (GMT+9), and qualifying set to begin at 13:45.

2 Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40)  +0.037
3 Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.150
4 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.221
5 Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia)  +0.408
6 Marcos Ramirez (OnlyFans American Racing) +0.422
7 Filip Salac (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) +0.529
8 Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team) +0.617
9 Dennis Foggia (Italtrans Racing Team) +0.629
10 Izan Guevara (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) +0.668



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