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Chantra leads the charge at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo

28 Apr 2018

Former Asia Talent Cup Champion takes P8, Tom Booth-Amos sidelined due to injury

In qualifying for the second round of the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Somkiat Chantra will be leading the charge for the Junior Talent Team as the Thai rider prepares to line up on the third row of the grid in P8. The former Asia Talent Cup Champion is, however, only 0.030 off the top four and the laptime set by Estoril winner Manual Pagliani – with laptimes incredibly tight in the top ten.

His teammates aren’t far behind, either. Yuki Kunii took tenth in qualifying and was half a tenth off Chantra, with Ai Ogura 11th fastest and a similarly tiny margin in arrears. Gerry Salim, meanwhile, made some good progress and will start a few rows back in P22 – aiming to get up in the fight for the points on Sunday.

Sadly, however, it was a tough day at the office for Brit Tom Booth-Amos. The British Talent Team rider suffered a crash on Saturday and has headed back to Barcelona for surgery on a broken wrist and will miss the round. Nevertheless, he does hope to be back on track soon at Le Mans.

“I’m pretty disappointed I won’t be able to race this weekend,” says Booth-Amos, who fought for the win in Portugal in the first round. “Now I’m headed back to Barcelona for surgery to try and start getting back to fully fit as soon as I can, but I’m sure I’ll be back on track at Le Mans and hopefully be fighting at the front again.”

The four-strong Junior Talent Team of Chantra, Kunii, Ogura and Salim will be out for two Moto3™ races on Sunday at Valencia before the paddock heads for Le Mans and the French Grand Prix – with the lights going out at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo tomorrow at 11:00 local time (GMT +2) for Race 1 and 14:00 for Race 2.