Moto3 2021
Round 1

NSF250RW Riders Aim to Win the Constructors' Title Consecutively

qa Losail International Circuit

Honda’s Moto3 riders aim to continue the company’s illustrious record in the smallest Grand prix category, which includes a clean sweep of the last four Moto3 Constructors World Championships with the NSF250RW.

NSF250RW Riders  Aim to Win the  Constructors' Title Consecutively

Honda’s top two performers of 2019 – Arbolino and Ogura – are now in Moto2 which allows the next generation to step up. Fastest Honda rider in the Losail preseason tests was Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who finished tenth overall last season. This year the 20-year-old Italian is confident on improving on his 2020 form, which included his first GP win at August’s Czech GP and a brilliant second place at the season-ending Portuguese GP.

Also prominent in preseason testing was John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW), who at 26-years-old is the oldest rider in the class. The Briton was seventh in last year’s championship with one race win and three further podiums. His ambition this season is to put all his experience to good use and challenge for the title.

Up there with McPhee in testing were team-mates Gabriel Rodrigo (Team Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) and Jeremy Alcoba (Team Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW). This will be an emotional year for Team Gresini, which lost its founder Fausto Gresini to COVID-19 last month.

Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) contests his second World Championship season in 2021 after learning plenty during his apprenticeship year. The 18-year-old from Setagaya showed flashes of brilliance during 2019 but was unable to translate his impressive speed into point-scoring results. After a busy off-season of training and preparation the youngster is ready to put the lessons learned last year into use.

Kunii’s team-mate is Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), who contested the Moto2 World Championship last year. The 23-year-old Indonesian knows how to win at Losail. In 2015 and 2016 he won rounds of the Honda-supported Asia Talent Cup at the circuit, riding a lower-spec NSF250R.

The Asia Talent Cup will be in action at Losail again this weekend, with the first two races of the 2021 season taking place.

Losail hosts its 18th MotoGP event this year. The circuit was constructed in 2004 to bring MotoGP to the Middle East for the first time. Losail is a sinuous test for man and machine, with the layout of individual corners inspired by famous corners at racetracks from around the world. Corner speed and machine agility are vitally important at Losail with only one straight worthy of the name – the 1.068km/0.664-mile start-finish, which demands plenty of horsepower.

After Sunday’s racing the paddock stays put for the Doha GP on April 4, then travels to Europe for the Portuguese GP on April 18. The 2021 championship is due to travel to Asia later in the year, COVID-19 protocols permitting, and finish at Valencia, Spain, on November 14.

Dennis Foggia
Dennis Foggia 7
Leopard Racing
I’m happy with the final tests we did at Losail. We did a good job during those three days – I was very consistent with my lap times and my bike feels fast. Plus I feel good with the team and I can’t wait to start racing!

Gabriel Rodrigo
Gabriel Rodrigo 2
Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3
We have been competitive from day one of testing. We worked hard on bike set-up and we improved especially on fast corners, after we struggled in this area at Portimao. On Saturday we continued to focus on longer runs and we tried the harder tire option. We probably were top five, even though we lacked something in sectors three and four. We wrapped up this test in a great way, I have great confidence in this bike – something I haven’t enjoyed in a long time. No matter what tire option I tried I felt great, with a good race pace, so the expectation cannot be but high for the first two GPs here at Losail.

John McPhee
John McPhee 17
Petronas Sprinta Racing
I think we got a good understanding of where we’re at with the setting during the tests. I was happy with my best lap because it’s my fastest-ever lap at Qatar and I even came across someone riding slow on their out-lap, so there’s potential to go even faster. I’m really happy with our race pace as well and we’ve found a lot of things that work.

Andi Farid Izdihar
Andi Farid Izdihar 19
Honda Team Asia
I feel so excited to start my second full season in the World Championships. Now I go back to Moto3 like I rode in the CEV championship and we have already done some good work in preseason testing. I will continue to keep working from the last three-day test, always trying to improve in every session and always trying my best.

Yuki Kunii
Yuki Kunii 92
Honda Team Asia
We have just finished our final preseason tests in Qatar. In these tests we worked hard for the first two races here. Of course there is some pressure and I am a bit nervous, so my main focus is to keep calm, stay relaxed and my target for Sunday is to try and get some championship points.

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