A steady Saturday makes for a scintillating Sunday with plenty of potential to be unleashed
The second round of the 2023 Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship is up and running at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia and there’s plenty to be talking about with the Junior Talent Team riders. Although there was room for more and a push within the top ten, Sunday will see tenacity and resilience as the key attributes, as two 17-lap encounters give an abundance of opportunities to shine.
Best of the JTT riders at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia was Eddie O’Shea (British Talent Team), with the #8 setting a 1’40.690s to go 13th overall, heading up the fifth row of the grid despite being less than a second from the front row. O’Shea missed the final weekend of 2022 in Valencia through injury but scored points at the circuit 12 months ago in the first meeting. His target will be to crack the top ten and to leave the round as an established contender.
Next up on the grid is Arbi Aditama (Astra Honda Racing Team), who improved his time in Q2 to qualify 17th for Sunday’s two 17-lap scraps. The Indonesian rider took his first JuniorGP™ points in Valencia in last year’s Race 2, whilst the final race of the year in Valencia gave him a first top ten from 16th on the grid. Can Aditama make it a repeat performance?
He was just one place ahead of rookie Shinya Ezawa (Asia Talent Team). Following a solid debut at Estoril in Portugal two weeks ago, the reigning runner-up from the Asia Talent Cup had a steep learning curve at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, having never raced there previously. The 17-year-old Japanese rider hopes he can elevate himself into the points to potentially challenge for a first top ten in JuniorGP™.
Completing the JTT round-up after a difficult day at the office, 2022 race winner from Estoril Tatchakorn Buasri (Honda Racing Thailand). Qualifying down in 20th place after Saturday in Valencia, Buasri will no doubt make amends on Sunday; the Thai rider has garnered a reputation over the years for fighting back into the points from outside the top 30 on the grid and came into the points from outside the top 15 on the grid on two occasions last year, including the penultimate race in Valencia. For Race 1, due to a penalty elsewhere on the grid, Aditama, Ezawa and Buasri will be one place higher.
Two races for the class this weekend promise to provide stunning action and lights go out for Race 1 at 11:00 local time (GMT+2) whilst Race 2 gets underway at 14:00, both set for 17 laps of battle.