Thai rider on the third row at Montmeló after a difficult qualifying day for the Junior Talent Team
Somkiat Chantra leads the Junior Talent Team into race day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Thai former Asia Talent Cup champion taking P9 and lining up on the third row of the grid. Under sunny skies, summer is officially here and the conditions were some of the best of the season so far. Nevertheless, for Chantra’s teammates it was a more difficult day, with a fight back on the cards for Ai Ogura and Yuki Kunii.
Ogura is the second Junior Talent Team rider on the grid, with the Japanese youngster 16th fastest overall and starting from the sixth row. He’ll be aiming to get off the line well and make some quick progress through the pack, having taken a podium last time out. Kunii, who starts P20, has a similar task ahead of him. Currently the highest-placed Junior Talent Team rider in the standings in fourth and seven points ahead of fifth-placed Chantra, Kunnii will be on a charge – and as a race winner last time out in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Mugello, confidence is high.
Gerry Salim had a solid day to close the gap to only four tenths off teammate Kunii, with the Indonesian starting P29 with a host of riders behind him in the 46-strong field. British Talent Team rider Tom Booth-Amos is unfit and sitting it out as he awaits more surgery, planned for the week following the round.
So that’s it, the grid is decided for Round 4 and it should be a Sunday to remember, with some impressive comebacks up for grabs if the Junior Talent Team can get in gear and push forward. Race 1 starts at 11:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday, before Race 2 at 14:00.