Valente promoted to race two pole following penalty for Chilton
Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente has been promoted to provisional pole position for race two at Motegi after ROAL Motorsport's Tom Chilton had his lap time from Q2 disallowed for exceeding track limits.
Chilton drops to 12th position as a result of his time being removed, which promoted Lada's Nicky Catsburg to ninth and Valente to 10th position, which is key for the reverse grid, which means Catsburg is now effectively demoted to second, with Valente moving all the way from 11th to provisional pole position.
Valente was happy to have benefitted from Chilton's error but was still concerned over the pace of his Chevrolet RML Cruze in qualifying.
"My pace for qualifying was P7, or P8 I'd say," he said.
"But I went out at the last corner at the back straight, I took too much of the kerb on the inside and went onto the grass on the outside, and I decided to finish the lap instead of come into the pits and put a new set of tyres on and hope that someone ****s up.
"Obviously it wasn't enough to make it through to the top ten, and it's not what we've been used to in terms of pace, but Honda have used the summer break to their advantage, and (Norbert) Michelisz did a great lap."
Valente starts ahead of Catsburg, with Honda's Tiago Monteiro third and Citroen's Yvan Muller fourth on the grid for the second race.
"It's going to be really hard to keep them all behind," he added. "I'm going to try and win the race because I think that's what you have to do when you start from pole, but it's not a circuit like Vila Real where it's really hard to overtake."
Michelisz claims first pole of the year for Honda in Japan
Citroëns tightly packed in qualifying