LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami narrowly missed out on a spot in Q2 during qualifying for the first-ever Thailand Grand Prix. On another very hot and humid day at the Buriram International Circuit in the east of the country, the Japanese rookie claimed 14th position on the grid for Sunday’s MotoGP showpiece.

Nakagami was 17th fastest in FP3, although less than four tenths outside the top ten who went through to Q2. His chances of securing one of the two places on offer in Q1 were complicated by the presence of world champion Marc Marquez, who eventually went on to become the first rider to claim pole from Q1. Taka was in the battle for the second spot, but just fell short and will now start from the fifth row of the grid tomorrow.

#35 Takaaki Nakagami (14th – 1’30.995)

“Qualifying was a little bit tough because Marc (Marquez) was there so obviously one position was already gone. So it was very difficult, but in the last few minutes of the session I did my best to get the last position in Q2 and it was really close, less than one tenth”.

“Of course I’m a little bit disappointed, but session by session we have a better feeling with the bike and we’re focusing on the race pace. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, it will be a very tough and long race and tyre management will be very important.”