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Kubo to Start Japanese GP From P9

Kubo to Start Japanese GP From P9

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team experienced highs and lows on the second day of the Grand Prix of Japan weekend. Keminth Kubo impressed with his speed, making his way through Q1 to take 9th place in Q2. Manuel Gonzalez, on the other hand, suffered a big crash in the FP2 session. The outcome of a final medical check tomorrow morning will decide whether he can take part in the race.

Today, the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team found a thin silver lining on an otherwise overcast qualifying day at the Mobility Resort Motegi. Keminth Kubo put in his best qualifying result of the season, taking ninth place on the grid. However, the team‘s success was somewhat overcast by Manuel Gonzalez‘ big crash in the FP2 session. He will have to await the result of a last medical check before Warm Up tomorrow to know if he can take part in the Sunday action.

In the absence of teammate Gonzalez in Q1, all eyes were on Kubo. The Thai rider rose to the occasion to represent the team and showed strong pace in the wet session. Despite the tricky conditions causing a few wobbles, he set a 2‘06.501s lap on his seventh and final try to take third and secure a place in Q2.

Kubo was keen to get more fast laps in, but a sudden thunderstorm at the start of Q2 saw the session being red-flagged due to the weather conditions after only a few minutes. Pit lane opened again at 15:38 local track time (GMT +9). The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider had the difficult task of negotiating the track in difficult conditions and get a good lap time in. He found the fine line between pushing yet not overdoing it and clocked a 2‘06.785s on lap 8/8, which put him in ninth place on the grid.

Gonzalez suffered a big high side in this morning‘s FP2 session. The rider was first taken to the Medical Centre and then transported to Haga for further medical examinations of his right shoulder and neck. The checks at the hospital did not evidence lesions. He is declared to be reviewed tomorrow morning before the Moto2 Warm Up to determine whether he can take part in the race. He will have to start from the last place on the grid.

Gelete Nieto

Sports Director

"Well, how to start? It‘s been a scary day. Manu had a bad crash in FP2, but he‘s ok. It could have been worse, but he‘s been lucky. We were all surprised when he came back after the medical check at the hospital, and he was hungry and disappointed because he arrived too late for the qualifying session! Let‘s see if after the check tomorrow morning he will be declared fit, so he can take part in and enjoy the race. I‘m proud of Kubo! He had a good free practice session, also if he made a mistake and crashed at the end. Then, in the afternoon, he was able to manage the tricky situation really well in Q1, entering Q2 and achieving ninth position. It‘s his best qualifying so far, and it‘s a big boost for him. Having this good result here in Japan, it‘s even more special."

Keminth Kubo - P9 (2‘06.785)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"I'm super happy about today's result. I'm really excited that I could join Q2. I achieved a top-10 position, that motivates me so much! Tomorrow it should be dry. That will be more difficult for me, but I'll learn from the fastest riders. I was scared for Manu after his accident. I'm glad he's okay."

Manuel Gonzalez

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"Today has been even shorter than yesterday! I could ride only 5 laps because I badly crashed without expecting it. I had a hard hit to the right collarbone, but I'm okay. I hope to be declared fit tomorrow morning, because I would love to enjoy the race, even if I start from the last position. My team was really scared, but I was back in the garage sooner than they expected."