Grand Prix rookie Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) delighted the home crowd at Mandalika this afternoon by scoring his first front-row start for what will be only his third Grand Prix race.
The 18-year-old from Madiun, Indonesia, rode superbly in tricky damp conditions, promoting himself from Q1 to Q2, then fighting for pole position with much more experienced riders. With eight minutes remaining Aji was third fastest, for a front-row start, but as the pace increased in the last minutes of the 15-minute session he was relegated to a lower position. However, Ajo fought back again to regain third position, just 0.335 seconds off pole, claiming an excellent front-row start.
Last year Aji contested the Red Bull Rookies Cup and the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship, so he has made a huge step forward for 2022, riding against the world’s fastest Moto3 riders.
World Championship leader Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) – thanks to his brilliant victory in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix two weeks ago – completed the session fifth fastest, 0.362 seconds off pole. The 26-year-old Italian will therefore start from the middle of the second row, putting him in an excellent position to fight for another victory tomorrow.
The 2021 Moto3 runner-up Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) certainly had a busy Q2. Halfway through the session the 21-year-old Italian was going for pole position when he fell, caught out by a damp patch. He quickly restarted and bravely continued to go sixth fastest in the final moments, so he will start the race next to Migno and will also have his chance of victory.
Foggia finished a close seventh in Qatar, despite several sanctions imposed for indiscretions in qualifying.
Migno’s team-mate, 17-year-old Italian Alberto Surra (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) made sure of a fourth-row start by going 12th fastest today. He will start one row in front of Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) who was 15th fastest. British rookie Scott Ogden (Vision Track Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) was 18th, for only his second GP start.