Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) played a starring role in one of the most thrilling Moto3 battles of 2022 at Sepang this afternoon.
The 21-year-old Italian was in the lead pack throughout the 17 laps around this superb racetrack, putting some amazingly brave and skilled moves on his rivals. He took the lead on numerous occasions including on the final lap at Turn Nine, with just six corners remaining.
But such is the close, frantic nature of the Moto3 category that during the final few corners he lost several places to take the chequered flag in sixth position, only 0.371 seconds behind the winner. Foggia was keener than ever to stay in front and take home 25 points to bolster his hopes of completing this season as Moto2 runner-up, but he lost out by just a few metres.
Foggia, who was runner-up in 2021, goes into the final race at Valencia two weeks from now holding third overall, eight points behind the rider ahead of him and just six points in front of the rider behind him the championship standings, so the season finale will be a very big event for the man who has won four races so far this year and will move up to Moto2 in 2023.
Foggia’s team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) was chasing the lead group in the early stages of the race when he slid off. The exit of the 25-year-old from Chiba left Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) as the next Honda rider to take the finish, in 14th place, despite a collision during the rush towards the first corner, which lost him many positions. After that the 26-year-old Italian did well to keep his cool and score his first points since last month’s Thai Grand prix.
Italian Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) was also in the leading pack but slid off with five laps remaining.
Twenty-year-old Malaysian Syarifuddin Azman (VisionTrack Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) had a great ride at home in his fourth Grand Prix of the year to finish 16th, coming within 0.153 seconds of scoring his first points since he took 13th at last year’s Aragon Grand Prix.
There was disappointment for Grand Prix rookie Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) who was on course to achieving his second World Championship points until disaster struck with two laps to go.
The 17-year-old from Kanoya started from 18th on the grid and rode a superbly aggressive race to fight his way into 14th position with two laps to go. However, luck was not on his side and as he sped down the start/finish straight for the penultimate time another rider collided with him, breaking off his front-brake lever, so he couldn’t stop for Turn One and had to jump off his moving motorcycle.
Team-mate and fellow World Championship rookie Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had a promising ride, working his way up from 29th on the grid to finish 21st. The 18-year-old Indonesian, who has scored points twice in his apprentice season, has one more go at another points score at Valencia.
The season-ending Valencia Grand Prix in Spain takes place on 6th November.