Riders of Honda’s NSF250RW dominated Moto3 qualifying at Jerez today, taking the first top four positions on the grid and all but one of the top seven.
Pole position went to Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW), his third consecutive pole at Jerez. The 23-year-old from Chiba was in fine form at a circuit he loves. Tomorrow he aims to battle for the podium for the first time this year, after missing the crucial final preseason tests after contracting COVID-19. Suzuki also wants to make up for his Portimao DNF, when he was the innocent victim of another rider’s accident.
Suzuki will share tomorrow’s front row with 19-year-old Spaniard Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) and 25-year-old Italian Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW), who scored his first podium of 2021 at Portugal two weeks ago. The three riders are covered by just 0.200 seconds.
Two of the three riders on the second row are also mounted on NSF250RW machines. Twenty-four-year-old Argentinian Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) leads the row, after missing the front row by just 0.041 seconds. On the other end of row two is 26-year-old Briton John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW), who has endured a luckless start to 2021. Tomorrow McPhee hopes to score his first points of the year.
Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW), who started 2021 with podium results in the Qatar and Doha GPs, had a torrid afternoon, with a high-speed tumble at Turn Four. The 23-year-old South African was trying to improve on his previous best lap, which was good enough to keep him in seventh to lead the third row of the grid.
Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) made a great start to the day, riding a brilliant FP3 session to go direct into the Q2 session. The 18-year-old from Setagaya struggled to match the leading pace in Q2 and will start tomorrow’s race from 18th on the grid. However, he knows that he can battle for World Championship points if he can make a good start and manage the opening laps of the race to attach himself to a fast group.
Team-mate Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had to go through Q1 and although he led the session with a few minutes to go he missed promotion to Q2 by barely two tenths of a second. The 23-year-old Indonesian will start from 20th on the grid and is confident that he can have a good race.