Takaaki Nakagami made a solid start as free practice for the French Grand Prix got underway at Le Mans on Friday. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider once again cracked the top 10 to ensure he’s in good shape should the bad weather forecast for Saturday qualifying arrive as predicted.

Nakagami endured a rather low-key morning as he managed only the 15th fastest time in FP1. However, he improved by nearly a second in an FP2 session that saw multiple crashes, to finish the day in ninth position overall. That result will guarantee the Japanese star a place in Q2 should rain prevent the riders from improving their times in FP3 tomorrow.

#30 Takaaki Nakagami – (9th – 1’32.203)

“We still had quite a struggle to find the grip, especially on the edge and we struggled in both  the FP1 and FP2 sessions. But, luckily, I managed to get into the top 10 because the weather forecast tomorrow looks bad. Our first priority is to get into the top 10 and get into Q2; we used two soft tyres, that was our strategy and we did well, but we still need to improve on the edge grip”.

“It’s been a long time since I rode in wet conditions with this bike, it would be like starting from zero. But it will be the same for everybody (if it rains on Saturday), so we’ll prepare well for all conditions and, if it does stay dry, we can continue to try and improve. If it’s wet, we’ll try two different set-ups on the bike and see what works best.”