LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami produced a fine qualifying performance to claim 13th position on the grid for the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen. The Japanese talent made big improvements on his times from Friday and, in the end, only just missed out on a place in Saturday’s Q2 session.

Nakagami made a real leap forward in FP4 where he posted the seventh quickest time in the field and carried that momentum into Q1 where he finished third, less than a tenth behind Alex Rins who progressed to Q1. However, Taka is now feeling confident heading into Sunday’s race and is targeting a top-ten finish.

 #30 Takaaki Nakagami – 13th (1’33.625)

“I tried my best in qualifying and I’m happy with the improvement from yesterday, especially in FP4. It was good for the race pace and qualifying was just less than one tenth (from progressing to Q2), but this is racing and I did my best. Of course I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t get into Q2, but thanks to the team who helped me a lot and worked hard as always. 

“I’ll try to do my best tomorrow and hopefully we can get a good result and finish in the top ten. The lap times of the top ten are very close, so let’s say we have a chance. We always look at the positives, so we’ll try to make a good start and focus on the start of the race.”