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Kubo Perseveres Taking P18 in Japanese GP

Kubo Perseveres Taking P18 in Japanese GP

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team‘s Keminth Kubo used the Grand Prix of Japan as a learning experience. Starting from P9, he ended the race in P18. Manuel Gonzalez was initially declared fit for the race and took part in this morning‘s Warm Up. However, the team and Manugass decided to play it safe. The Spaniard did not start the race and is looking to make a full recovery for the next round in Thailand.

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team‘s Keminth Kubo enjoyed learning from more experienced Moto2 riders at the Mobility Resort Motegi, riding to an 18th-place finish. Manuel Gonzalez was declared fit in time for Sunday‘s Warm Up. However, following a discussion with his team, he opted not to ride in order to make a full recovery before next week‘s Thai GP.

Kubo was the sole Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider today competing in the 22-lap race at the tricky Mobility Resort Motegi track that‘s very hard on braking. Starting from P9 thanks to a terrific Q1 and Q2 session in the wet yesterday, the Thai rookie was in a good position to find experienced Moto2 competitors to ride behind and learn from. He found himself in the busy mid pack after the first corner and fell back to 24th place on the opening lap, but then got into a rhythm. Multiple riders crashed, but Kubo kept his concentration and finished the race in 18th place.

Manuel Gonzalez was declared fit before Warm Up. He completed five laps in total but wanted to minimise risks. As he had missed yesterday‘s qualifying sessions, he knew he would have to start from the back of the grid. With the full support of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team, he used the sighting lap to decide on the best course of action. He ultimately chose to sit out this race and heal to be ready to go all out in next week‘s Thai GP.

Today‘s race results keep Gonzalez in 19th place in the championship standings with 44 points. Keminth Kubo stays in 28th place with 4 points. The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team is now in 12th position with 57 points.

The team will next travel to the Thailand Grand Prix, to be held at the Chang International Circuit (also known as the Buriram International Circuit) this upcoming weekend.

Gelete Nieto

Sports Director

"Manu started Warm Up to check how he was feeling with his shoulder and to try the bike because it was new compared to yesterday. He was not so fast, but pretty ok. Of course, he had a bit of pain, the crash yesterday was hard. After Warm Up we discussed things, and we let him decide if he wanted to join the race or not. He wanted to try, but after the sighting lap he entered pit lane because he preferred to avoid any risk and to rest more so he can arrive in Thailand at full strength. I think that was a mature decision, considering he was last on the grid and with nothing to battle for. Kubo was pretty nervous this morning. It's understandable, it was his first time this season starting so far towards the front. He made a mistake on the grid and lost a lot of positions. It was a small mistake that cost him a lot. He needs to work more on the little things, they make the difference in this world. He knows it, and I'm sure he can work on himself as well to get ready for his home GP."     

Keminth Kubo - P18

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"I could try the dry conditions for the second time again today during Warm Up. I was pretty satisfied about the result, and I could improve my lap time. When the race started, I made a big mistake, losing a lot of positions. So, I pushed a lot trying to gain the positions back again, but it was difficult and I went wide. Then I was riding alone, trying to keep my pace constant because the race is long. I‘m very sorry for my team because I know they believed a lot in me this weekend. Now I'll think about my mistake, and I'll be even more focused next week in Buriram, at my home GP."

Manuel Gonzalez - DNS

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"It‘s a shame that in the end I couldn‘t race today. I really wanted to ride in Yamaha‘s home GP, but my physical condition was not as I expected. The team and I decided not to take part in the race because in the warm-up I didn‘t feel good, and it was too risky to start from last position and potentially miss out on next week‘s race in Thailand. I want to say 'Thanks' to the team, they did an amazing job fixing the bike. See you in the next round!"