Changing conditions complicate shortened Motegi opening day
The onset of rain at the start of the day's only Moto2 session did not make the task easy for either Marcel Schrötter or LIQUI MOLY Intact GP Team rookie Jeremy Alcoba on his first appearance at the Japanese track. At the moment, however, the riders of the German racing team are within good reach of Q2 with P18 and P16.
It's been a full three years since Japan hosted the World Motorcycle Championship and even though Moto2 veteran Marcel Schrötter knows the 4.8km Mobility Resort Motegi track inside out, conditions were so mixed from the start of the 40-minute session that even experienced riders found it difficult to build up a trusting feeling with their bike. Some sectors were wet, others damp, others dry. With his 1'52.286, the 29-year-old lost 1.793s to the fastest of the day, Augusto Fernandez, which makes the likeable Bavarian anything but satisfied. On Saturday morning, however, there is still a chance of a direct entry into Q2 with FP2, which starts at 06:55 German time.
For Jeremy Alcoba, on the other hand, the FP1 session was his debut on the Japanese track and even if the ambitious rookie always hopes for more, a 16th place at the start in such difficult conditions is definitely respectable. Only two positions separate the 20-year-old from a possible Q2 entry, which he is aiming for on the second day in Motegi with detailed analyses and quick learning processes on the track.
What influence the weather will have on this 16th race weekend of the season remains to be seen, but the German and the Spaniard are within striking distance and full of eagerness to master the long-awaited steps forward.
1. Augusto FERNANDEZ/ SPA/ KALEX – 1'50.493
2. Somkiat CHANTRA/ THA/ KALEX – 1'50.577 (+0.084)
3. Pedro ACOSTA/ SPA/ KALEX – 1'50.783 (+0.290)
4. Ai OGURA/ JAP/ KALEX – 1'50.885 (+0.392)
5. Filip SALAC/ CZE/ KALEX – 1'50.967 (+0.474)
16. Jeremy ALCOBA/ SPA/ KALEX – 1'51.916 (+1.423)
18. Marcel SCHRÖTTER/ GER/ KALEX – 1'52.286 (+1.793)