Moto3 2022
Round 5

Grand Prix rookie Aji Scores Another Brilliant Front Row

pt Autódromo Internacional do Algarve

Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) will start tomorrow’s Portuguese Grand Prix, the first European race of 2022, from second place on the grid, alongside front-row first-timer Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW), who was third quickest in today’s Q2 qualifying session.

Grand Prix rookie Aji Scores Another Brilliant Front Row

This is Aji’s second front row since he made his Grand Prix debut just five races ago, at last month's season-opening Qatar GP, and it confirms the 18-year-old Indonesian as a great hope for the future.

Conditions today were very tricky, with yesterday’s heavy rain and strong winds continuing into this morning, so qualifying went ahead on a treacherous, soaking track, with several riders sliding off as they pushed for their fastest laps.

Much better weather is forecast for tomorrow, so the morning warm-up session will be the first time riders have ridden a dry circuit this weekend.

This afternoon Aji was in the battle for pole throughout the 15 minutes, joined by fellow Honda riders Fellon, Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) and impressive rookie Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team Honda NSF250RW), who all took their turn at provisional pole.

Suzuki qualified fifth, with Ogden eighth, one place behind Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW).

World Championship leader Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) has had a more challenging time in Portugal. The 21-year-old Italian struggled to find the necessary speed on the soaking track, ending free practice 18th fastest, so he had to come through Q1 to Q2. During Q2 he did make it into the top ten but slipped to 12th at the finish, so he will start the race from the fourth row, next to 11th-fastest Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW).

Rookie Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), who’s contesting only his third Grand prix this weekend, slid off in FP3 and again at the start of Q1. Although the impressive 16-year-old from Kanoya was unhurt his bike was damaged, so he couldn’t continue and will therefore start the race from the back of the grid.

After tomorrow’s race the Moto3 grid heads across the Portuguese/Spanish border for next weekend’s Spanish GP at Jerez.

Mario Suryo Aji
Mario Suryo Aji 64
Honda Team Asia
I’m happy about this second position. Indeed, only 0.017s to the pole and I was riding looking for a good rhythm, carefully and trying to improve lap by lap. I hope we will have good weather tomorrow! If the weather is good I'm optimistic that I can be at the front during the race.

Lorenzo Fellon 20
SIC58 Squadra Corse
Very happy with my first front row, so a big thanks to my team who are doing a great job. It has not been easy this weekend, with the cold, the rain and the wind, but we were fast when we need to be. The race will be tough, but we are ready to fight and do our best.

Taiyo Furusato
Taiyo Furusato 72
Honda Team Asia
A tough day today. The weather conditions were terrible – it was so difficult to ride safely and I crashed twice. In FP3 I crashed because I was pushing maybe too much. But in Q1 I don't know why I crashed. I did a lap to check the bike and the track conditions, and on the second lap, suddenly, I was on the floor. That isn't good for me because I need as much time on the track as possible. But, anyway, I think it’s all experience. Tomorrow I will start from the back, but I will do my best to push to gain positions.

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