Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) played a starring role in today’s thrilling Moto3 race around the historic, super-fast Assen TT circuit.
The 24-year-old from Chiba was in the battle for victory throughout, from starting from the front row of the grid and all the way to the final chicane on the last lap, where he was passed at the last moment and missed a podium finish by just seven thousandths of a second.
All through the 22 laps the lead group of up to nine riders swapped position through Assen’s fast sweeping corners. Suzuki seemed to have it all worked out until he was pushed wide onto the kerb by another rider in the final laps. He fought back from that into third place, but no doubt the incident cost him time.
His fourth-place finish aboard his NSF250RW puts him seventh overall in the championship, with several riders ahead of him well within range.
Suzuki’s team-mate and title hopeful Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) had an eventful race. The 21-year-old Italian started from the second row and immediately joined the lead group but was given a long-lap penalty for exceeding track limits at the chicane, even though there were so many riders trying to squeeze through the right/left that running slightly wide was more of an avoidance than an attempt to steal an advantage
Foggia’s long-lap penalty dropped him from fifth to 13th, but he fought back brilliantly to re-join the leaders. Then five laps from the finish he was pushed wide onto the kerb at Turn Two, by the same rider who later forced Suzuki wide. When Foggia rode off the kerb to re-join the circuit he lost control and fell, without injury. He still stands third in the points chase.
Three other Honda riders finished in the points： Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) in 11th, Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) in 13th and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) in 15th, after a double long-lap penalty.
Rookie Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) made a great start and was riding at a great pace when he lost the front and nearly crashed. After that the 18-year-old Indonesian struggled to get back into his rhythm, finishing 18th.
Team-mate Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) judged this as the most difficult weekend so far of his rookie season. Assen is very difficult track to learn and Furusato and Aji only got one day to get to know the layout, following rain on Friday. Today the 16-year-old from Kanoya rode his fastest lap of the weekend on his way to finishing 21st after his own long-lap penalty but understands that he needs to adjust his riding technique to take the next step forward.
Moto3 riders and teams now get to enjoy a five-week midseason break before resuming racing at the British GP on August 7.