Moto3 2021
Round 17

Foggia To Fight For Moto3 Title From Second Row

pt Autódromo Internacional do Algarve

Honda’s 2021 Moto3 World Championship challenger Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) was on brilliant form in today’s qualifying session for the penultimate race of the year.

Foggia To Fight For Moto3 Title From Second Row

The 20-year-old Italian briefly went second fastest on his final lap, finally ending the 15-minute outing in fourth, to lead the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s vital encounter.

Foggia has been on astonishing form in recent races. Following August’s Styrian GP he was 97 points behind title-leader Pedro Acosta. Now he stands just 21 points down with two races to go. Acosta qualified 14th this afternoon and will start the race from the fifth row.

Honda is also chasing its fifth consecutive Moto3 Constructors World Championship with the NSF250RW, so today’s qualifying performances from John Mcphee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW), Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) were very important.

That trio made it four Honda riders in the top seven, the riders appreciating NSF250RW’s fine-handling around this twisting, rollercoaster circuit.

McPhee qualified second, only 0.017 seconds off pole position. This was the 26-year-old Briton’s first front-row performance since the season-opening Qatar GP.

Eighteen-year-old Spaniard Artigas and 23-year-old South African Binder were next – sixth and seventh fastest, just three and four tenths off pole position.

Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had a good day, riding superbly to complete the Q1 qualifying session second quickest, which promoted him to the Q2 session. The 18-year-old from Setagaya ended Q2 17th fastest.

Team-mate Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) will start the race from 25th place, on the ninth row of the grid. The 23-year-old Indonesian very nearly made it into Q2 and hopes to be able to make further improvements in the morning warm-up session.

Following tomorrow’s race Moto3 riders and teams head east, from Portugal to Spain, for next Sunday’s season-ending Valencia GP.

John McPhee
John McPhee 17
Petronas Sprinta Racing
We were really strong yesterday with the hard tyre, but just struggled with the one-lap pace at the end of the day. Obviously we’ve corrected this, going fastest in FP3 but we had used two tyres, so I only had one fresh tyre for qualifying. My first run put me on the front row, but I didn’t think it was good enough to maintain that position and I had to go again with the used tyre. I’m so happy that I was able to do the lap time I did on those tyres and it’s actually a bit of a surprise. Overall it’s been a solid day and it puts us in a good place for tomorrow. I’ve already decided which tyres we are going to use tomorrow; I’m feeling good with them and really looking forward to the race. 

Yuki Kunii
Yuki Kunii 92
Honda Team Asia
I improved from yesterday. Today I was able to follow the fast riders and I had the same feeling. In Q1 I pushed to the maximum and had the confidence, so I was in a good place to score a good lap time. I won a place in Q2 and there I tried to learn from the top riders. I couldn’t improve but I’ve seen many positive things for tomorrow. I’ll try to enjoy the race – there are just two races to finish the season. 

Andi Farid Izdihar
Andi Farid Izdihar 19
Honda Team Asia
Today I felt not bad. I made a big step ahead from yesterday, but I’m still struggling in some points. The gap in the lap time to be in Q2 was tiny and many riders were separated by one or two tenths. My feeling is good; during warm-up we will test something more and we will see what the conditions will be for the race, especially if it’s windy. I’ll have 21 laps to do my best and, of course, not forgetting that most important is to finish the race. 

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