Confident Somkiat targets 2023 Moto2 championship
published : 29 Sep 2022 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
writer: Tor Chittinand
Thai rider Somkiat Chantra said on Wednesday he will be ready to challenge for the Moto2 championship next year.
Somkiat and Japanese Ai Ogura will remain with Idemitsu Honda Team Asia next season, the team announced yesterday.
"I am proud to be racing for the team for the fifth consecutive season this year," the 23-year-old Thai told a press conference in Bangkok.
"I feel that I have made progress with victory in Indonesia. I am confident that I will be ready for the battle for the [Moto2] world championship in 2023."
Apart from the victory in Indonesia, Somkiat has also claimed three other podium finishes this season.
Somkiat finished second in Austria and Argentina and third at Le Mans. He is currently ninth in the 2022 championship.
The Thai earlier said he wanted to win his home race at the Thailand Grand Prix in Buri Ram this weekend.
Ogura said: "I am happy to race for the team again next season. I'd like to thank the team and my sponsors who have supported me.
"This year, we are competing for the Moto2 world title. We are moving forward to our target. My challenge is to improve in every race to be ready for the higher level of competition."
Ogura won at the Japanese Grand Prix last week to close the gap to two points at the top of the world championship.
While Ogura showed off his well-known nerves of steel at Motegi to take the home win, championship leader Augusto Fernandez of Red Bull KTM Ajo did what he needed to in such a situation with a second-place finish.
Somkiat and Keminth Kubo of Yamaha VR46 Master Camp will race on home turf, and Somkiat's GP record at the venue already contains a top 10 on a Moto3 wild-card appearance.
Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools Speed Up) will also want to make life difficult for the rest once again, with the rookie continuing to impress.
Idemitsu Honda Team Asia also announced yesterday that Indonesia's Mario Suryo Aji and Japan's Taiyo Furusato will remain with the team next season.
- Somkiat Chantra