Japan’s Yuta Date took pole at the first ever qualifying session for the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup which took place in the late afternoon sun at the Losail circuit on Saturday, March 22, 2014.
With strong winds blowing down the start straight all the riders had to adapt to the changed conditions as the gusts not only robbed them of top speed but also threatened to get under the fairing of the Honda NSF250R machines mid corner and caught out a few of the riders including Fakhrusy Rostam, who lost the front end early on and only managed to set a fast time with five minutes remaining to slot in at 15th.
Coping best with the conditions was talented Japanese rider Yuta Date riding the number 6 machine. Date has been in and around the top half dozen riders all week during practice but made the most of today to seal pole position with a 2’14.369 lap time. That time was over two seconds slower than the best lap from yesterday as the conditions made it tough for all the riders.
Date will be joined on the front row by his compatriot Ryo Mizuno and rising star Muklada Sarapuech. The Thai rider has never let the fact the she is the only girl lining up hold her back, in the pits and on the track she has held her own so far.
She will look to make the most of the front row start for Sunday’s inaugural Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup race.
All 22 riders made it inside the qualifying standard for the grid with just four seconds separating them so the battles should be close up and down the field as they look to score their first points at the Losail track.