Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) will start from the front row of the grid tomorrow for the fourth time of the year.
The 23-year-old from Chiba had a strange Austrian Grand Prix qualifying session at Red Bull Ring. He set his fastest lap on only his second lap and the very next lap was involved in a collision with Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) that put them both out.
Usually the fastest lap times are set at the end of qualifying but Suzuki’s early speed was so impressive that only one rider bettered him, so he completed the session second quickest, just 0.071 seconds off pole position.
So far this year Suzuki has scored two pole positions – at Jerez and Mugello – but he has yet to achieve a podium finish in 2021, so that is his clear aim for Sunday.
Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) made it two NSF250RW riders on the front row with the third best time of the session. The 19-year-old Spaniard has so far claimed one pole position this year – at Assen – and two podiums – at Jerez and Catalunya.
Honda’s next-fastest riders were Rodrigo and Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) in eighth and ninth. However, Rodrigo was later penalised for causing a crash and will start from the back row of the grid, promoting double-race-winner Foggia to eighth.
Last Sunday here Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) scored his best-ever Grand Prix result, finishing the Styrian Moto3 race in eighth place. That ride gave the 18-year-old from Setagaya real confidence of further improving his performance this weekend, but so far it’s not been easy.
Kunii completed the first day of free practice 11th fastest, but this morning dropped to 21st overall and in qualifying improved by just one position.
Team-mate Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) was 25th in practice and qualifying. Tomorrow the 23-year-old Indonesian aims to score his first points since June’s German GP.
After tomorrow’s racing Moto3 riders and teams enjoy a one-weekend break following back-to-back races in Austria, then travel to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 29th August.