Honda NSF250RW riders dominated the Red Bull Ring Moto3 race, once again monopolising the podium. The first race of the day got underway on a damp track, following overnight rain, with enough of a dry line at most corners to convince all riders to fit slick tyres.
Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) was the bravest of the 31 starters, fighting with team-mate Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) for the first few laps, then escaping out front to cross the line well ahead of his rivals. This was the 23-year-old Italian’s first Grand Prix victory since the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix.
Fenati’s victory also extended Honda’s lead in the Moto3 Constructors World Championship to 45 points. Honda is currently chasing a third consecutive constructors crown in the class
Arbolino chased Fenati home to make it a team one/two, after spending most of the race duelling with John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW). At the finish the pair were separated by just eighth thousandths of a second. The 19-year-old Italian now moves into third overall in the championship, two places ahead of the 25-year-old Briton.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) retook the World Championship lead with an intelligent ride to sixth place, seven tenths of a second behind Spanish team-mate Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW). Twenty-year-old Italian Dalla Porta now leads the title chase by a single point from Spaniard Aron Canet, who crossed the line in tenth place, just behind Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW).
Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) both had impressive pace in practice but were less lucky today.
Ogura did well to finish 12th, after starting from the rear of the grid, due to a post-qualifying penalty. The 18-year-old from Tokyo rode well in the race and will make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake again in qualifying. This was his fifth consecutive points score.
Toba started from the second row of the grid but rode too carefully in the early stages, when there were so many damp parts of the track. That left the 19-year-old from Fukuoka with too much work to do once the track improved. He missed the World Championship points by just three positions.
Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) rode to his third consecutive points score in 13th position.
The MotoGP paddock now heads across the English Channel for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on August 25.