Junior Talent Team looking to gain ground in Catalunya

06 June 2019

Four riders represent the JTT in Barcelona, with Kunii out injured

After racing alongside MotoGP™ at Le Mans, the next stop for the Junior Talent Team and the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship is the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Round 4. Unfortunately, Championship leader Yuki Kunii won’t be racing, having been injured in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Mugello, so it’s Mario Aji, Max Cook, Haruki Noguchi and Bill Van Eerde who line up to take on the competition. Can the field capitalise on Kunii’s absence?

Indonesian Mario Aji is the top JTT rider in the standings who’ll be lining up by virtue of his stunning fourth place in Estoril. Since his season opener it’s been a little more difficult, although in Le Mans he was crashed out of the race on the first lap through no fault of his own – and his qualifying lap at a new track was only three tenths off the top ten. His objective is clear: another good haul of points.

In a stroke of bad luck, the incident that took down Aji was the same that saw teammate Max Cook run on; the Brit another caught up in the aftermath of another rider’s crash. Cook was able to rejoin, however, and it was quite a comeback. From 34th at the end of Lap 1 to finishing 18th, the British Talent Team rider showed some impressive form and will be hoping to repeat his pace in Barcelona, this time without the off-track excursion.

Haruki Noguchi, meanwhile, is another who wants points this time out after fighting for them in France. The Japanese rider is getting up to speed after missing the first round through injury and he was in and around the fringes of the points for much of the race in Le Mans. Finally, reigning Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion Bill Van Eerde continues his progress. He, like Noguchi, missed the season opener through injury and he’s not scored points yet but he’s making progress on all-new tracks with all-new rivals. Two solid finishes at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be his goal.

There are two Moto3™ races in Barcelona on Sunday 9th June, with Race 1 at 11:00 (GMT +2) and Race 2 getting underway in the afternoon at 14:00 – don’t miss it!

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