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.
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.