Rd.15 MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN: Sunday, October 15, 2017
Ambient: 14℃ / Track: 15℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami finished 6th at the Japanese Grand Prix today. Malaysian Teammate Khairul Idham Pawi also completed the race in 23rd place.
The race for the intermediate class started at 1:00 pm for shortened 15 laps, due to oil-spillage in the morning’s Moto3 Warm Up having to be cleaned up.
Starting from pole position in front of 52,439 spectators, Nakagami took the holeshot and led the race for 10 laps in the wet. He crossed the finish line in 6th place, scoring 10 championship points.
Pawi started the race from 33rd grid. The Malaysian Moto2 rookie moved up the field gradually despite the difficult track conditions, managing to complete the race.
Race week for the next race, the Australian Grand Prix, commences on October 20 at the Phillip Island Circuit, with Free Practice 1 for the intermediate class starting at 11:55 local time (GMT +11).
Takaaki Nakagami (6th, 32’15.064, +6.163)
“Even though we expected to struggle in wet, this result was not what I wanted. I managed to lead the race for 10 laps, and we can take it in a positive way, but to be honest, I am not satisfied with it because our target is always higher. The next two races, Phillip Island and Sepang, could be wet weekends again so that we have to prepare well by utilizing data we have accumulated this week.”
Khairul Idham Pawi (23rd, 32’59.432, +50.531)
“It was a very tough race for me because starting from the back of the grid under such difficult conditions affects visibility. But I didn’t give up and gained positions, and finally, set 2 m 09s in the final few laps. Although I am not happy with 23rd place, it was a positive weekend because I gained more experience.”
Tadayuki Okada Team Manager
“It’s a pity that Taka lost some positions in the final stages of the race. However, leading the race for many laps in the rain is a big improvement to overcome his weakness. I think it was a positive weekend for him. Pawi set his best lap time for each of the final few laps. Reaching the checkered flag in every race is the most important objective for his Moto2 rookie season, so it was a very productive weekend, especially for his future improvement.”