Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) utterly dominated today’s opening race at Termas de Rio Hondo, which got underway on a soaking track after earlier rainfall.
The 25-year-old from Chiba started from the second row of the grid and quickly worked his way into second place. On lap three he took the lead when early leader Deniz Oncu crashed out in the tricky conditions. From there Suzuki was never troubled, getting into a superb groove that had him rapidly stretching his advantage over the pursuing pack.
At one point during the closing stages of the race he was an incredible seven seconds ahead of second place, which was occupied by his team-mate Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who had fought so hard to gain the position from a bunch of rivals. Things were looking good for a Honda one-two, until the 22-year-old Spaniard slid off on lap 14 of 18.
Suzuki didn’t make a single mistake during the race, easing off in the final lap or so to take the chequered flag 4.751 seconds ahead of his closest challenger.
Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) had the best race of his brief Grand Prix career, battling strongly in the group behind Suzuki. The 19-year-old Briton was towards the back of the group for much of the race but pushed super-hard to start the last lap in fifth place, just a few metres between the second- and third-placed riders.
However, Ogden collided with another rider during the final lap, collecting a six-second penalty, which put him fifth in the final results. Nevertheless, this was by far his best GP finish, bettering his previous best of two 12th places in 2022, his rookie season.
Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) was also in the group battling for the podium, until he fell on the final lap.
Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) did well to control his pace in the rain, which finally took him across the finish line in seventh. Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) and Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) also took points in 12th and 13th.
The soaking race was a new experience for 17-year-old Japanese ace Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), who learned plenty in the conditions and steadily increased his pace during the 18 laps, finally taking 18th place.
Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) was enjoying a great ride in the rain, battling to score his first World Championship points since last year’s Italian GP, until he made contact with another rider and slid off in the closing stages.
The Moto3 paddock’s next stop is the Grand Prix of Americas, at the Circuit of the Americas, in Texas, USA, on 16th April.