Italian Honda riders Riccardo Rossi (SIC 58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) will start tomorrow’s Austrian Moto2 race from the second row of the grid, both ending qualifying within four tenths of a second of pole position.
Foggia fought throughout the Q2 session for a front-row start and was third quickest when the chequered flag was waved. However, two riders, including Rossi, bettered their speed on their final laps, demoting him to fifth fastest, one place behind Rossi, who missed out on a front-row start by just 0.127 seconds. Rossi also started the last race, the British GP at Silverstone, from fourth on the grid, suggesting that the 20-year-old is getting better and better.
Foggia’s team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) was also in the running for a start from the front row but the 24-year-old from Chiba missed out in the final few minutes and slipped to seventh, so he will lead the third row, missing a second-row start by a mere 0.011 seconds.
Last year here Foggia scored a superb third place in the Austrian GP.
The Moto3 grid is as closely packed as ever, with 0.566 seconds covering the fastest 12 riders on the front four rows of the grid.
This year the Red Bull Ring has been changed for the first time since MotoGP returned here in 2016. A new chicane has been added at the former Turn 2, with the new right/left chicane named Turns 2a and 2b.
Grand Prix rookie Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) was 20th quickest in qualifying, his second consecutive top-twenty Saturday performance. The 17-year-old from Kanoya is still chasing his first World Championship points score. His best result so far is 16th, at April’s Grand Prix of the Americas.
Fellow rookie Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) will start two rows behind his team-mate, after qualifying 25th. The 18-year-old Indonesian has already scored his first World Championship points, taking a popular 14th place at his home Grand Prix in March and going one better at the Italian GP at Mugello.
After tomorrow’s race – round 13 of 20 – the paddock moves on to its final two races in Europe, at Misano and Aragon, before flying east for the first of four flyaway races, starting with the Japanese GP on September 25.