Moto3 2021
Round 7

Honda’s Rodrigo And Alcoba Dominate Moto3 Qualifying

es-ct Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Team-mates Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) and Jeremy Alcoba rode a superb Moto3 Q2 qualifying session to take the top two places on the grid for tomorrow morning’s Catalan Moto3 race.

Honda’s Rodrigo And Alcoba Dominate Moto3 Qualifying

The pair worked together to overcome all their rivals, riding the fastest-ever Moto3 laps around the slightly modified Catalunya circuit, which features a new layout at Turn 10.

This is Rodrigo’s first pole position of 2021 and continues a strong run of qualifying performances which have had him starting from the first two rows of the grid for six successive races.

Last Sunday the 24-year-old Barcelona-based Argentine rider scored his second Grand Prix podium when he took a very close third place at Mugello, so tomorrow his target is straightforward: a first victory.

Alcoba was three tenths down in second. The 19-year-old scored his first top-three of 2021 at Jerez last month and will aim to return to the podium tomorrow, alongside his team-mate.

John Mcphee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) was Honda’s next fastest rider, taking a second-row start with the sixth-best time of the day, the 26-year-old Briton choosing to ride alone.

Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) will start from the third row.

Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) made an impressive return from injury, with the 20th best time. The 18-year-old from Setagaya broke his left collarbone during French GP qualifying three weeks ago, forcing him out of that race and also the Italian round.

Kunii has done well to get back into the groove so quickly here, putting himself in a position where he’s got a chance of scoring points, if he’s physically strong enough to ride at his maximum throughout the 21 laps.

Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) qualified two rows behind his team-mate. The 23-year-old Indonesian and Moto3 rookie will start the race alongside Takuma Matsuyama (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), the 16-year-old from Chiba contesting the third Grand Prix of his career.

Gabriel Rodrigo
Gabriel Rodrigo 2
Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3
I feel even stronger than in Italy. I feel extremely comfortable on the bike and yesterday we also made some adjustments that added some extra confidence. Pole position is surely a great result in what I consider a home GP. Pole aside, in any case, we have a fantastic pace and I only hope that the weather will be favourable tomorrow so that we can have a great race. In the final minutes me and Jeremy decided to help each other on track and it was a perfect strategy.

Jeremy Alcoba
Jeremy Alcoba 52
Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3
In the final three minutes of Q2 Gabri suggested to me the strategy you all saw, which turned out to be the winning one. I pushed in the first sector and then I placed myself in the slipstream and I would say things went well. It will be a challenging race tomorrow as tyres wear out pretty quickly and I think from half race onwards it will be important to keep an eye on that, while still racing at the front.

Yuki Kunii
Yuki Kunii 92
Honda Team Asia
I was just 0.1 seconds outside entering Q2. Honestly, I expected more. In FP3 I improved my lap time, but so did the rest of the competitors. My feeling is improving since yesterday. Despite not entering Q2 I feel this result is positive because I can ride a good pace riding alone. Tomorrow I will start from P20, but you can be sure I will do my best. After the injury, tomorrow I would like to finish the race. Maybe at the next race I will be ready to fight for a result.

Andi Farid Izdihar
Andi Farid Izdihar 19
Honda Team Asia
In FP3 I improved my best lap again, but not enough. In Q1 I tried my best, but my feeling still isn't perfect. I continue to have some problems in some corners. I will focus in doing the best job possible in tomorrow's race. In the warm-up session I have my last chance to find the best set-up.

Takuma Matsuyama
Takuma Matsuyama 32
Honda Team Asia
I cannot be happy about the result of today. In FP3 I had some problems with chattering. We solved that for Q1, but then I didn't have so much grip. Now is time to analyse the data to understand what's happening and to solve the problems for tomorrow.

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