Japanese rider heads the Junior Talent Team troops at Le Mans – with Chantra in hot pursuit
Ai Ogura, fresh from the podium at Valencia, kicked off the third round of the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship in style on Friday as he went third fastest overall to take the Junior Talent Team’s second front row of the season so far. Somkiat Chantra wasn’t far behind, however, just 0.003 seconds in arrears and heading the second row of the grid after an impressive day for the Thai rider and former Asia Talen Cup Champion.
With such good pace, they’ll both be looking for a good launch off the line to get into the fight in the front group and Yuki Kunii, currently third in the standings, will be pushing hard to join that battle. The Japanese rider took P9 in qualifying – again by a tiny margin – just 0.001 ahead of tenth and focused firmly forward. Gerry Salim lines up P26 as the gaps between the competitors were again incredibly tight, but after running as high as ten places further up the timesheets, the Indonesian is ready to challenge further forward.
Tom Booth-Amos, meanwhile, was P40 after a difficult start to the weekend. The Brit, who has never ridden at the track before, is also coming back from injury – having missed Valencia and has surgery on a broken wrist since the last round. After just two sessions and riding through the pain barrier, Booth-Amos will want to take a more representative result in the race.
After a Warm Up session first thing, it’s lights out and away we go at 16:30 (GMT+2) for Round 3 – with the single FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship race keeping the action high-octane on Saturday afternoon at the French GP.