Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent superbly mastered tricky and rapidly changing track conditions at the Twin Ring Motegi this afternoon to claim a season best ninth position on the grid for the Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix.
After the entire schedule was lost to adverse weather conditions yesterday, Kent and his Moto2 World Championship counterparts finally made it out on track at 3:15pm local time this afternoon for an extended qualifying session following further disruption to today’s schedule.
Torrential rain and low visibility that prevented an air ambulance from being fully operational again meant this morning’s FP3 was cancelled and qualifying extended to an one-hour format to try and make up for lost time on track.
The heavy rain that dominated the earlier part of the day had stopped when qualify commenced and Kent shone on a rapidly drying track, with sun finally breaking through grey and threatening clouds by late afternoon.
A fantastic last lap of 2.02.255 put Kent into the top 10 in ninth and he was only just over one second away from pole position and less than 0.1s behind World Championship leader Pol Espargaro on the French designed and built Mistral 610 machine.
Today’s outstanding performance was easily the 19-year-old’s best qualifying result of the season and he is now confident he can score points for the fourth race in a row with a maiden Moto2 top 10 in tomorrow’s 23-lap race.
Danny Kent 9th 2.02.255 – 20 laps
“We can be really happy with qualifying. It has been a long weekend for all the riders and teams just waiting around, so it was good to finally have the possibility to go out on track. I’m truly satisfied with the third row because I wanted to show some strong races at the end of the year to pay the team back for all the hard work they have put in this season. But I’m extra happy because I had to pass two riders in the last sector on my fastest lap and still managed to improve my lap time and I’m just one-tenth away from the top six, which gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow. It will be a tricky race because it looks like we will have totally different conditions than today and that will change the situation completely, but I will give it my all trying to get a good start and fight for a top 10 finish.”
Source: Tech3 Communications
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