LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami enjoyed his best qualifying result of the season at the Grand Prix of Catalunya on Saturday. The Japanese rookie secured 12th place on the grid for Sunday’s race after progressing to Q2 for the first time since joining the MotoGP class.

With Barcelona bathed in hot and sunny conditions again, Taka managed 16th in the FP3 session but was then able to make real progress with the set-up of his Honda. It saw him produce a superb display in Q1 where he finished second behind world champion Marc Marquez to earn his maiden appearance with the top ten in Q2. There he finished less than two tenths behind Dani Pedrosa in 11th and now heads into Sunday’s race full of confidence.

#30 Takaaki Nakagami – (12th – 1’39.888)

“I’m very happy about today’s qualifying and finally we got into Q2 which was a big step. I’m pleased to see all the team looking so happy. The team did a great job and we improved the set-up of the bike from FP4.

“In Q2 I tried my best, but we are happy with 12th position. From Friday we have been working towards the race pace and it’s going to be tough. Tyre management will be very important as it will be hot, but we are ready to fight for the best result possible.”