Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) scored a second podium on back-to-back Sundays with a brilliantly judged last-lap move in today’s frenetic Moto3 race at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.
Just one week ago at Mugello the 24-year-old from Chiba stood on the podium for the first time since September 2020. Now he has two third places in just seven days, thanks to a daring late-braking move on title rival Sergio Garcia at the final turn of the final lap.
There was a frantic contest in the early stages, because the circuit’s 1.05km/0.65-mile start/finish straight provides plenty of opportunities for slipstreaming, allowing as many as 25 riders to form a huge freight train. But the lead group eventually stretched away from the rest of the pack from lap 15 of 21, with Suzuki one of four riders contesting the podium places. His third straight top-five finish lifts him to eighth in the World Championship.
There was disappointment for pole-sitter and pre-race favourite Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who led the first three laps of the race. The Italian was forced to retire from what certainly going to be a victory challenge on lap seven, after his machine’s final-drive chain came off the sprocket after he had ridden across some of the track’s high kerbs.
Italian Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) scored important points with 11th place and impressive British rookie Scott Ogden (Visiontrack Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) finished inside the all-important top 15 for the fifth time this year, thanks to a strong 14th place.
Eighteen-year-old Indonesian Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) showed plenty of promise in the ninth race of his rookie season but was unable to finish after a crash on lap nine, while fighting back from a tough first lap.
In sweltering hot conditions Aji was moving toward the top 20 and appeared capable of challenging for his best result in the class, when he crashed out of 23rd position.
Rookie team-mate Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) suffered similar misfortune early in the race. The 16-year-old from Kanoya dropped five positions on the hectic first lap. After that he soon found his rhythm and was up to 21st, when he slid off at Turn Five.
After an intense start to the season, Moto3 teams and riders have a free weekend after Barcelona before returning with back-to-back races at the German and Dutch rounds on June 19 and June 26.