Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) was on great form in the early stages of today’s Moto3 Q2 qualifying session, leading the way halfway through the crucial 15-minute outing.
However, the 25-year-old from Chiba didn’t quite have the pace to stay there in the final minutes and slipped down to eighth, less than four tenths of a second off pole position, which puts him on the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s 20th and last race of 2022.
Team-mate Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) bettered Suzuki by 0.019 seconds to end the session seventh quickest, just 0.059 seconds away from a second-row start.
The 21-year-old Italian, who has won four races so far this year and was in the title hunt until the last few races, hopes to end 2022 on a high, especially because this will be his final race in Moto3, before he graduates to Moto2 in 2023.
Italian youngster Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) will start the race from one row behind Foggia and Suzuki after qualifying 12th quickest, half a second off pole.
Honda Team Asia GP rookies Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) and Mario Suryo Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) have had a challenging two days preparing for the last race of the year. This is the pair’s first visit to Valencia – a tight, but complex layout – so they have had plenty to learn about the circuit while also adapting their motorcycles to its demands. To further complicate matters, both were slowed by other riders in qualifying.
Furusato ended qualifying in 29th place, the 17-year-old from Kanoya one position and three tenths of a second in front of his 18-year-old Indonesian team-mate. This has been a learning year for both apprentices, who will take everything they’ve learned over the season to improve their performance for 2023.
Moto3 riders and teams now have a long wait ahead of them before their first official 2023 pre-season tests, which take place at Jerez, Spain, on 9th and 10th March, and Algarve International Circuit, Portugal, from 17th to 19th March. The racing season starts at Algarve International Circuit on 26th March.