Hikari Okubo debuts at Mugello on a busy Friday27/05/2022
The Avant Ajo MotoE rider will start from the fourth row of the grid in the two races scheduled for this weekend, at Round 3 of the FIM MotoE World Cup
The third round of the MotoE World Cup, held alongside the Italian GP, kicked off on Friday. After the podium that he achieved at Le Mans, Hikari Okubo had a solid day at Mugello, taking part in two Free Practices plus qualifying. He contested Q1, and will start from the fourth row of the grid, in eleventh position.
Okubo faced the first free practice with the aim of getting a good feeling at an unfamiliar circuit. He progressively improved his times to put in a 2:02.450 on the final lap of a total of eight, finishing in fourteenth place.
In FP2, the Avant Ajo MotoE rider took a step forward at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. With favourable track conditions, Okubo improved his times by lapping two tenths faster compared to the first session. Despite suffering a crash at Turn 4 in the final part of the session, he placed fourteenth after stopping the clock in 2:00.984, on his fifth attempt of seven.
The Japanese rider contested Q1 under sunshine and high temperatures. Okubo was fighting for the top positions throughout the session to guarantee a spot in Q2. Finally, he finished in third position with a time of 2:00.645, achieved on the third lap of the four that he rode. He will start from eleventh position, on the fourth row of the grid, after falling just short of moving into Q2.
The first MotoE race of the weekend will take place on Saturday at 4:25pm local time, and is scheduled for six laps.
Results – Qualifying
1. Dominique Aegerter 1:59.205
2. Kevin Zannoni 1:59.473 +0.298
3. Mattia Casadei 1:59.535 +0.330
4. Eric Granado 1:59.537 +0.332
5. Matteo Ferrari 1:59.602 +0.397
11. Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE) 2:00.645 (Q1 time)
“It was a somewhat difficult day, because normally in MotoE we can’t do many laps. I had a crash at the end of FP2, at Turn 4, and I couldn’t improve my time. The lap that we set in Q1 was my best of the day, so I’m happy. However, if I tried to push any further I might have crashed again, so I preferred not to risk it. We have lowered our time lap by lap, and we have two more days and two races to go. It’s not a problem for me to start from the fourth row and we’ll try to catch up with the front group and give it our all again.”