Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) gave Honda’s 2022 NSF250RW a winning debut at Losail this afternoon, winning a thrilling season-opener by just 0.037 seconds.
The race was a typical Moto3 contest, with a big leading group, the top nine taking the chequered flag by less than three seconds.
Migno was impressive from start to finish, taking the lead on lap 12 of 18 and resisting all attempts to take victory from him. His NSF250RW handled superbly through Losail’s sweeping turns and most significantly had incredible performance on Losail’s long main straight, where he was able to stay in front of the pack, even when riders on rival machines were in his slipstream.
Migno raced a Honda NSF250RW for the first time last year, when he joined the Rivacold Snipers Team. They scored two podiums together and with a full season behind them are now ready to perform regularly at the front. This was Migno’s first victory since 2017 and he now leads the Moto3 World Championship for the first time.
In fact Migno should have had a more complicated contest for victory today, because the fastest rider in the race – Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) – had to overcome two penalties from yesterday’s qualifying session, which required him to start from the back of the grid and take two long-lap penalties.
Foggia rode a superb race as he fought back from the penalties, not once but thrice. In so doing the 21-year-old Italian rode the fastest lap of the race. By the chequered flag he had worked himself up to seventh, just 1.951 seconds behind Migno at the finish.
Last year Foggia won five races and finished the season a close runner-up, so he has plenty of time to get back to the front of the championship during the 20 races that remain.
Foggia’s new team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) also had to start the from the back row and take a long-lap penalty for similar indiscretions during qualifying. The 24-year-old from Chiba was charging towards the front when he crashed out unhurt on lap four.
Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had a promising Grand Prix debut, completing his very first World Championship race in 19th place. Two weeks today the 17-year-old Indonesian rider has the privilege of riding in his home race at the brand-new Mandalika circuit, the first Indonesian GP in a quarter of a century.
Aji’s team-mate Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) didn’t ride this weekend, because he’s recovering from a broken right talus bone, sustained during pre-season testing.
* Daniel HOLGADO: 1 position penalty due to exceeding track limit on the last lap