Motegi Super Formula: Oyu gives Nakajima back-to-back poles

Toshiki Oyu scored his maiden Super Formula pole position for Sunday's second leg of the Motegi double-header, continuing Nakajima Racing's resurgence.


Following Naoki Yamamoto's victory from pole on Saturday, it was Oyu's turn to enjoy the limelight on Sunday morning as he took the top spot with a best effort of 1m30.313s in the Q2 pole shootout.

That was enough to edge out Kondo Racing driver Sacha Fenestraz by 0.149 seconds.

"Winning a race is one thing, but taking pole in Japan's fastest cars took me a long time," said third-year driver Oyu, who qualified third on Saturday only for his race to be ruined by gearshift issues.

"I was always playing aiming for it, and everyone in the team worked so hard for me and I'm glad I could finally repay them for that."

Both Nakajima drivers set the pace in their respective Q1 groups, Yamamoto doing so in Group A and Oyu in Group B, but come Q2 Yamamoto couldn't find an answer to his teammate's pace, managing only eighth on the grid.

Championship leader Tomoki Nojiri (Mugen) was third, scoring one bonus point in the process, but Fenestraz's two bonus points means the gap between the pair in the standings has narrowed to 29 points.

Fenestraz's Kondo teammate Kenta Yamashita was fourth-fastest ahead of Tadasuke Makino in the best of the Dandelion Racing cars.

Ryo Hirakawa enjoyed his strongest qualifying showing since the opening round of the season at Fuji as he took sixth ahead of his Impul teammate Yuhi Sekiguchi and old title rival Yamamoto.

Both of Team Goh's rookies made it into Q2, with Atsushi Miyake taking ninth ahead of Red Bull junior Ren Sato.

Nobuharu Matsushita (B-Max Racing) and Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) completed the Q2 order. 

Toyota's traditional flagship team TOM'S had a morning to forget as both Giuliano Alesi and Ritomo Miyata failed to make it out of their respective Q1 groups, qualifying down in 18th and 19th respectively.

Ukyo Sasahara's qualifying woes continued in the second Mugen car as he went off into the gravel at the Turn 10 hairpin, causing a red flag in his Q1 group. He will start 21st and last as a result.

Motegi Super Formula (Rd. 8) - Q2 results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 65 Japan Toshiki Oyu TCS Nakajima Racing 1'30.313  
2 4 France Sacha Fenestraz Kondo Racing 1'30.462 0.149
3 1 Japan Tomoki Nojiri Team Mugen 1'30.497 0.184
4 3 Japan Kenta Yamashita Kondo Racing 1'30.582 0.269
5 5 Japan Tadasuke Makino Japan Dandelion Racing 1'30.610 0.297
6 20 Japan Ryo Hirakawa Team Impul 1'30.675 0.362
7 19 Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi Team Impul 1'30.676 0.363
8 64 Japan Naoki Yamamoto TCS Nakajima Racing 1'30.701 0.388
9 55 Japan Atsushi Miyake Team Goh 1'30.730 0.417
10 53 Japan Ren Sato Team Goh 1'30.750 0.437
11 50 Japan Nobuharu Matsushita B-Max Racing Team 1'30.756 0.443
12 7 Japan Kamui Kobayashi KCMG 1'31.412 1.099

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