Moto3 star Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) scored a famous first pole position today, riding for the team run by Paolo Simoncelli, father of the late Marco Simoncelli, at the track named in honour of the Italian superstar, who lost his life at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.
This was Suzuki’s first pole, at his 84th Grand Prix, and sets him up for an excellent chance of scoring his first victory tomorrow. The 21-year-old from Chiba achieved his first podium at May’s Spanish Grand Prix, where he qualified second and finished second to team-mate Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW).
Suzuki will be joined on the front row by Spaniard Aron Canet and Moto3’s newest star Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW), who was just 0.127 seconds off pole.
Arbolino is on a superb run of form aboard his NSF250RW – the 19-year-old Italian won his first Grand Prix victories at June’s Italian GP and Dutch TT and has followed that with three podium results from the last three races.
Antonelli was the next Honda rider, in sixth place on the second row, just once place ahead of World Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW). The 22-year-old Italian had a fraught qualifying outing, crashing halfway through the session. Although he was able to ride his bike back to the pits his crew was unable to fix the damage in time for him to re-join the track and attempt a faster lap. In the circumstances, he will be happy enough with a start from the top of row three.
While Dalla Porta leads the Moto3 Riders World Championship, Honda leads the Moto3 Constructors World Championship, aiming for a hat-trick of prizes in this sector.,
Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), winner of the last race at Silverstone in Britain, was ninth fastest Moto3 rider today to complete the third row, two places ahead of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW). The impressive 16-year-old rookie from Tokyo will aim for his seventh consecutive finish in the points tomorrow.
Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) qualified 23rd. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka, who is working hard to regain confidence after some difficult races, will work hard to get into the points.
After tomorrow’s racing the paddock makes the 1500km/930 miles dash to Aragon, Spain, for round 14 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.