LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami made an encouraging start as free practice commenced at the first-ever MotoGP Grand Prix in Thailand on Friday. Taking place in scorching conditions at the Buriram International Circuit in the east of the country, Nakagami closed the opening day in 13th position but well within striking distance of the top ten.

The Japanese rookie demonstrated his potential at the circuit in FP1 as he posted the eighth fastest time of the morning. Although he went quicker again in the afternoon he had to settle for 13th in FP2, but is hopeful of finding enough improvement on Saturday morning to secure a place in Q2.

#30 Takaaki Nakagami (13th – 1’31.714)

“It was really tough conditions today, especially FP2. It’s really hot and the humidity here is incredible and makes it very tough physically. But session by session the conditions (on track) were getting better, there is more rubber on the Michelin tyres”.

“In FP1 it was a pretty good start and I had a good feeling with the bike. But in FP2 everyone improved their lap times and I was just trying to improve a little at the end to get into the top ten. But it’s really tight, my position is only sixth tenths off Andrea Dovizioso in first and three tenths behind the top ten. So tomorrow we will focus on our lap time and do our best to go into Q2.”