Tricky qualifying in rainy Japan
Rain and poor grip conditions dampened the qualifying for the two LIQUI MOLY Intact GP riders after they ended FP3 on a good note. With grid rows 7 for Marcel Schrötter and 10 for youngster Jeremy Alcoba, the duo have a challenge ahead of them that they will be looking to meet with their usual eagerness on Sunday.
As predicted, the Japanese weather played a very decisive role on this qualifying Saturday. The morning FP3 session initially boosted Marcel Schrötter's confidence, even though he was unable to improve on his Friday time due to the morning rain. Consequently, he faced Q1 later in the day. Unfortunately, the German failed to make it into Q2 after the 29-year-old was troubled by the change in grip conditions at Motegi. He eventually finished Q1 not within the four Q2 transfer places, but in P7, which means 21st on the seventh row of the grid for Schrötter.
Team-mate Jeremy Alcoba learned the pitfalls of the 4.8 km Motegi Circuit the hard way this Saturday. The young Spaniard had to deal with two crashes, one of which was a nasty highsider in turn 3 during Q1. His first slip in FP2 was due to pushing his limits and intensive optimisation work on the corner exits but that incident did not make the 20-year-old any less positive for the upcoming Q1. But Alcoba also experienced a similarly rapid drop in grip as his colleague Schrötter. A week ago in Aragon, however, the Spaniard proved that he can make up many positions within a very short time, even from far behind. Something he wants to repeat this Sunday.
The weather forecasts predict dry conditions for the race when the lights go out at 06:20 (CEST) for the 22-lap thriller at Motegi.
1. Fermín ALDEGUER/ SPA/ BOSCOSCURO – 2'04.479
2. TonyARBOLINO/ ITA/ KALEX – 2'04.747 (+0.268)
3. Aron CANET/ SPA/ KALEX – 2'04.899 (+0.420)
4. Filip SALAC/ CZE/ KALEX – 2'04.917 (+0.438)
5. Jake DIXON/ GBR/ KALEX - 2'04.976 (+0.497)
20. Marcel SCHRÖTTER/ GER/ KALEX – 2'06.490 (+2.011)
27. Jeremy ALCOBA/ SPA/ KALEX – 2'07.677 (+3.198)
1. Aron CANET/ SPA/ KALEX – 2'05.543
2. Barry BALTUS/ BEL/ KALEX – 2'05.734 (+0.191)
3. Keminth KUBO/ THA/ KALEX – 2'06.501 (+0.958)
4. Cameron BEAUBIER/ USA/ KALEX – 2'06.513 (+0.970)
5. Lorenzo DALLA PORTA/ ITA/ KALEX – 2'06.790 (+1.247)
7. Marcel SCHRÖTTER/ GER/ KALEX – 2'07.087 (+1.544)
15. Jeremy ALCOBA/ SPA/ KALEX – 2'10.530 (+4.987)