Honda riders Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) and Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) will start tomorrow’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix from fourth and fifth positions following a typically frantic qualifying session at Losail this afternoon.
The two Italians were on the front row until the final seconds of the session, when a few riders used each other’s slipstreams to go fractionally faster. Nonetheless the 26-year-old and the 21-year-old are happy with their performances, both less than four tenths of a second from pole position.
The Losail layout encourages pack racing, so the important factor in tomorrow’s race will be running with the lead group, staying out of trouble and saving your best for the final laps, when the contest for a podium finish will intensify considerably.
Last year Migno missed the podium at Losail’s Doha GP by just 0.032 seconds, so he will want to make up for that disappointment.
Foggia had a tough time at Losail last year – he was taken out of the Qatar GP by another rider on the very first lap and finished just outside the points in the Doha GP. Tomorrow the six-times GP winner will surely fight for the podium.
Foggia’s new team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) also had hopes of a front-row start. He was fourth fastest until the final seconds when he was pushed down to ninth, to the third row, less than nine tenths off pole. However, the 24-year-old from Chiba is fully confident that he can go with the lead group and make his mark in the closing stages of the race.
Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) makes his GP debut tomorrow. The 17-year-old Indonesian finished a creditable 11th quickest in the Q1 qualifying session, which puts him 25th on the grid.
Team-mate Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) isn’t riding this weekend, following a tumble in last month’s pre-season tests at Jerez, Spain. He is currently recovering from a broken bone in his right foot and hopes to be back in action as soon as possible.
The Moto3 race is the first race of the day tomorrow, starting at 15:00 local time. Round two of the 2022 Moto3 World Champion takes place in Indonesia on March 20.