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First row start for the Asia Talent Team at Estoril

22 Jul 2017

Ogura leads the charge on his return from injury after a solid day for the Asia Talent Team

Ai Ogura led the Asia Talent Team charge in qualifying for the fifth round of the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship season at Estoril, as the Japanese youngster returned from injury in stunning style to take a front row start in third.

Ogura’s teammate Yuki Kunii was another who impressed from the Asia Talent Team ranks, going fifth fastest and joining compatriot Ogura on the front two rows despite a late crash when improving further. Third Japanese rider Kazuki Masaki will start from eighth, in the middle of the third row, as the trio all set themselves up well for the coming race.

Andi Farid has a slightly bigger workload on Sunday as he lines up fifteenth, but the Indonesian comes into the round after some top performances in Valencia and will be a sure bet to move forward. Thai rider and reigning Asia Talent Cup Champion Somkiat Chantra remains sidelined as he recovers from a crash at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalaunya.

The majority of the field set their best laptimes in Qualifying 1, including Ogura, with conditions partly sunny with some clouds overhead. Skies remained dry throughout Saturday, and the wind that had previously affected practice was improved for qualifying day.

The single Moto3™ race at Estoril begins at 13:00 (GMT +1) on Sunday, and is set for 17 laps of the legendary Portuguese venue - with the Asia Talent Team ready to race.

Alberto Puig, Asia Talent Team Director: “It wasn’t so bad. As a team it was ok. It was the first time here for all the guys here this weekend, so we are fairly happy. No big damages and only one crash for Yuki Kunii so let’s see. It’s going to be difficult like always but we have some chances – let’s see how the wind will affect tomorrow but it’s the same for everyone. We just have to put our heads down and try our best.”

As always all of the action can be followed LIVE on FIM CEV Repsol YouTube channel.