Grand Prix rookie Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) enjoyed a superb qualifying day on his first visit to Phillip Island, scoring the first top-ten grid position of his World Championship career.
The 17-year-old from Kanoya, winner of last year’s Honda-backed Asia Talent Cup, promoted himself to the Q2 qualifying session by going fourth fastest in Q1. He used his burgeoning talent and a slipstream to go even faster in Q2 to better his previous best grid slot – 13th in Thailand a fortnight ago – by four places, which makes him the best-placed Honda rider going into tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.
Furusato will start from the top of the fourth row of the grid, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) at the other end of the same row. The 21-year-old Italian was fifth fastest after the three free practice sessions but couldn’t quite find a quick lap in qualifying, ending the session in 12th place.
Foggia currently stands second in the 2022 Moto3 World Championship but with three races to go he is 49 points behind leader Izan Guevara, who could secure the crown tomorrow. Foggia will therefore be riding to keep his title chances alive.
Team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) was seventh fastest in free practice but lost his chances of a good grid position when he slid off during Q2. The 24-year-old from Chiba will start the race from 18th, one place ahead of rookie Scott Ogden (Visiontrack Racing Team Honda NSF250RW), who celebrates his 19th birthday tomorrow.
Just two races remain after the Australian round, with riders and teams heading directly to Sepang for next weekend’s Malaysian GP. The last race of 2022 takes place at Valencia, Spain, on 6th November.