Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) goes into this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix looking for his first victory of 2021 as he builds his challenge for the Moto3 World Championship.
The 23-year-old South African has had a superb start to his first season with Honda, scoring a second and a third at the first two rounds in Qatar. The hard-charging youngster has quickly gelled with his NSF250RW, the machine that could achieve a fifth consecutive Moto2 Constructors World Championship this season.
Moto3 is the closest of the three categories in the MotoGP series, so Binder’s first two finishes of the year – 0.094 seconds and 0.039 seconds behind the race winner in the Qatar and Doha GPs – are not unusual.
This weekend Binder hopes to be able to use the fine-handling capabilities of his NSF250RW to climb to the top step of the podium for the first time with Honda. Last November he finished sixth in the first Moto3 World Championship race at Algarve International Circuit, so he is confident of a much better performance on Sunday.
Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) took a huge step forward in his Grand Prix career at the Doha GP two weeks ago when he scored his first World Championship points. The 18-year-old from Setagaya finished the race in 15th, a much-deserved result after he had finished the previous Sunday’s Qatar GP in 16th place, less than a tenth of a second outside the points.
Last November at Portimao the Japanese youngster qualified 15th fastest, giving him an excellent chance of his first points, but the race didn’t quite go to plan. No doubt the confidence boost of taking his first points last time out will inspire Kunii to greater things this weekend.
Kunii’s team-mate Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) finished both races at Losail as he adapts to Moto3 after a season in Moto2. The 23-year-old Indonesian will be aiming to break into the points at Portimao, where he first raced in the Moto3 CEV series in 2016.