Okubo completes solid first qualifying in Jerez29/04/2022
The Avant Ajo MotoE rider ends an intense Friday qualifying on the third row of the grid for the 2022 FIM MotoE World Cup opener.
The Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit hosted the first day of the 2022 FIM MotoE World Cup season on Friday, coinciding with the Spanish Grand Prix. Hikari Okubo took part in the first two Free Practice sessions and qualifying, claiming a spot on the third row with eighth place.
The MotoE riders were the first out on Friday morning, in a FP1 held in mixed conditions, as the track still had patches of water from rain the previous day. Okubo approached this session calmly, completing six laps, in which he made steady progress. On his last attempt, the Japanese stopped the clock at 1:54.937, which earned him 11th.
At noon, Okubo returned to the track to compete in FP2, with the surface dry and temperatures gradually increasing. He was able to push more than in the morning, lowering his lap times considerably. Finally, Okubo finished the session with the seventh best time – 1:49.302 – which he achieved on his seventh lap of eight.
For the first time in the history of the electric series, qualifying was held with the Q1 and Q2 format. Okubo’s seventh position on the combined timesheets allowed him to be part of the group of 8 riders to go directly into Q2. On his first flying lap of the session, the Japanese posted his best time: a 1:49.001 which puts him eighth on the grid.
On Saturday afternoon, Okubo will face the first race of the season, which will start at 4:15 PM and is scheduled for 8 laps.
Results – Qualifying session
1. Miquel Pons 1:48.372
2. Hector Garzo 1:48.435 +0.063
3. Mattia Casadei 1:48.609 +0.237
4. Eric Granado 1:48.693 +0.321
5. Dominique Aegerter 1:48.763 +0.391
8. Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE) 1:49.001 +0.629
78 HIKARI OKUBO
“Today was a very busy day. We have a different schedule this year and the qualifying system is completely different. On Fridays in 2021 we only had Free Practices, but now we also have qualifying sessions in the afternoon. For me, that is a big difference. Regarding today, I’m very happy because I qualified directly for Q2. I didn’t have a bad feeling, even though I made some mistakes in the QP. The best lap time is quick, but I think that tomorrow we can achieve a good result. We will give 100% to try to make it happen.”