Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) rode to his first pole position of the year at the Circuit of the Americas this afternoon, bettering his closest rival by 0.101 seconds at the end of a frantic Q2 qualifying session.
This was the 22-year-old Spaniard’s first pole since the 2020 French Grand Prix.
There were plenty of minor tumbles as riders fought to extract the maximum from their 250cc four-stroke machines from this bumpy, slippery, situated outside the bustling Texas city of Austin.
Honda’s next best-placed rider is Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW), the 19-year-old Italian going eighth fastest, his best grid slot it what’s his first full World Championship season. Bertelle was just over a second behind Masia around this super-long circuit with its 20 corners.
Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) dominated the Argentine GP two weeks ago for a first victory of his 2023 season. however, today the 25-year-old from Chiba had to be content with tenth, missing the third row of the gird by just three hundredths of a second.
Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) and Kaito Toba (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) will start from the fifth row of the grid.
Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) made a great start to qualifying, leading the Q1 session but finally the 17-year-old from Kanoya missed promotion to Q2 and will therefore start the race from 19th. Team-mate Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) ended the day in 25th, putting the 19-year-old Indonesian on row eight.
Tomorrow’s third race of the 21-round Moto3 season is followed by a return to Europe, which starts with the Spanish Grand Prix on 30th April.