Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) put himself in the perfect position to launch a World Championship comeback by blitzing the outright Moto3 lap record at the Chang International Circuit on his way to pole position today.
The 21-year-old arrived in Thailand with slim hopes of triumphing in this year’s hotly contested Moto3 tile chase, sitting 63 points behind leader Izan Guevara (GASGAS) with a maximum 100 points available from the last four races.
But with Guevara enduring a difficult day, qualifying 11th, Foggia will be keen to make up big points in tomorrow’s race.
At the track where he scored his first podium in the World Championships back in 2018, Foggia was in fine form throughout today. He smashed the lap record for a first time to top FP3 in the morning, before lapping 0.292 seconds faster than anyone else qualifying for his third career pole.
The brilliant Honda NSF250RW has proven to be a strong package at the Thai venue, taking taken one victory from the two previous Moto3 races held here.
Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) also showed speed this afternoon by setting the seventh fastest time. This is the tenth time the Italian has qualified on the front three rows this season and he will be keen to claim his first top-six finish since the Italian GP at the end of May.
Talented rookie Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) scored his best qualifying performance so far in 13th, maintaining his momentum from last Sunday’s Japanese GP, where the 17-year-old from Kanoya scored his first World Championship points. Both Furusato and team-mate Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) were recently confirmed to stay with the Honda Team Asia Moto3 team for 2023.
Fellow Grand Prix rookie Aji has good experience of this track from his days competing in the Honda-backed Asia Talent Cup, which plays such a vital role in helping riders along the road to MotoGP. But the 18-year-old Indonesian struggled to get comfortable in qualifying and ended 29th on the grid.
After completing tomorrow’s third race in as many weeks Moto3 teams and riders have a well-deserved one-weekend break before an Australian and Malaysian double-header on 16th and 23rd October.