Honda quartet Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW), Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) and John Mcphee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) all played a starring role in today’s opening Moto3 race, which featured a leading pack of at least a dozen riders throughout.
The race was a typically close Moto3 skirmish, with the very equal machinery keeping all the fast riders together, so that at the chequered flag the first five were separated by just 0.204 seconds, with the top ten covered by 0.983 seconds.
All four of the top NSF250RW men led the race at one time or another, but so frantic was the jostling between the leaders that only Alcoba stood on the podium, taking the chequered flag a slender 0.015 seconds behind the race winner.
Alcoba’s second podium of the year – following his third place at last month’s Spanish GP – moved the 19-year-old Spaniard to 11th in the championship standings.
Both Rodrigo and Binder had done more than enough to finish inside the top three, but they lost out in the final hectic laps, by fractions of a second. Binder was less than a tenth of a second away from the podium, while pole-starter Rodrigo was less than two tenths further back.
McPhee definitely had the speed to win the race. The 26-year-old Briton led on several occasions, lastly on lap ten, when he got in front and tried to make the break from the pack, only to crash out.
Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) rode a superb race to achieve his third World Championship points score, with a best-ever 12th-place finish. The 18-year-old from Setagaya missed the last two races after breaking his left collarbone during qualifying for last month’s French GP but has made an excellent job of his comeback weekend. Yesterday he qualified a promising 20th fastest, which put him in the position to fight for points during today’s race.
Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had high hopes of taking his second World Championship points. Although the 23-year-old Indonesian rode a great race, running a strong pace, he made a strategy mistake in the final laps and finished two places outside the points.
Takuma Matsuyama (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) struggled with several issues during the race. The 16-year-old from Chiba was therefore unable to run his best pace and he ended up 18th. However, he knows that he will be able to use everything he learned this weekend to ride a great race in next Sunday’s Moto3 Junior World Championship at this circuit.
The rest of the paddock has a weekend off before moving to Germany and then the Netherlands for the next two races at the end of this month.