Rain has been once again the main concern during the Japanese Grand Prix qualifying sessions today at Motegi. Although the showers had eased compared to Friday, all free and qualifying session were held in wet conditions. Reale Avintia Racing riders Loris Baz and Héctor Barbera worked very hard to improve their pace and both managed to do so.

Loris Baz will start tomorrow’s 24-lap-race from the fifth row of the grid alongside Maverick Viñales and Cal Crutchlow. The Frenchman fought until the last minutes to get in Q2, but he missed it by just 0.018s. Still, Baz is happier than yesterday and hopes to be battling for a good position in the race tomorrow.

Hector Barbera will start one row behind his teammate. Even though the Spaniard doesn’t have the best feeling in wet conditions, he expects to make another step during tomorrow’s warm-up session and to get a good result on the race.

“It’s a real shame to miss Q2 by such a small margin and I’m disappointed, because I made two little mistakes on my best lap. But if we consider how we were during the whole weekend, far from our real pace in the wet and without a good feeling, my grid position is not so bad. It’s strange because in wet conditions, Hector and myself are normally always in the top ten, but at this track nothing seems to work. We tried many things over the weekend, but couldn’t make a significant step. I was quite angry this morning after FP3, but then in FP4 we found a better way. The conditions for Q1 weren’t very good, because the track was almost dry except for two corners. That made it impossible to go out with slick tyres, but at the same time, the rain tyres overheated in these conditions.”

“It’s been a difficult weekend. Usually, both Loris and I are fast in wet conditions, but here we were struggling to go faster. My problem is that when I enter the turn, the rear slides a lot and the bike wants to highside me. We are working to solve this problem and we have improved a lot compared to yesterday. We shiftet more weight towards the front of the bike and that gives me more confidence. But even though, the warm-up tomorrow will be crucial because we still need to improve my race pace. It seems that the race will be wet. We start from the sixth row behind Viñales and he will push to catch the front group, so the goal will be to get out there, give my best and maybe stick with him for a while.”