Kunii leads the way in Valencia, Noguchi and Cook also score in the season finale
The final day of the 2019 FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ season was a solid outing for the Junior Talent Team, with Yuki Kunii back in action and leading the charge once again. Teammates Haruki Noguchi and Max Cook also took points, bringing a good season of progress to a close and adding more to the team’s tally.
In Race 1 at a sunny but windy Valencia, Kunii took his best finish of the day, fighting in a close freight train at the front and moving up from his P9 on the grid to take sixth in the penultimate race of the year. The Japanese rider also scored another good haul of points in the afternoon in another big group battle for the top ten, taking ninth and securing himself seventh overall despite a season marred by absences and struggles with injury.
Haruki Noguchi managed to end his year with another top ten too. The number 32 made some progress up from his qualifying position to finish Race 1 in ninth, and was fighting in a similar position in Race 2 as well before being handed a Long Lap Penalty for track limits infractions. Nevertheless the Japanese rider scored once more, taking P13 and another three points to end the year within the top 15 in the standings.
Max Cook also enjoyed a positive final outing of 2019. The British rider rounded out the points scorers in Race 1 to add another to his tally and he made even more progress forward in Race 2. The number 30 was 11th – ending the season with his best finish yet. Mario Aji was just pipped by the Brit in Race 1 and was 16th over the line, however, with the Indonesian frustratingly just a tenth and a half off scoring more points. In Race 2, ‘Super Mario’ also had a tougher time of it as best laid plans went awry; a run off seeing him cross the line further down the order. In the overall standings, however, he beats Cook to the honour of third JTT rider.
Billy Van Eerde, meanwhile, ended a slightly tougher season in the class with two solid finishes. The Aussie was outside the top 20 but in a group battle in Race 1, and in Race 2 was knocking on the door to some points. Just 0.115 separated him from fifteenth, with the number 29 forced to settle for P16 – but in a deep field, that’s a solid showing for the youngster after his swift rise from the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup.
That’s it for 2019 and another awesome season in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship, with the Junior Talent Team once again taking wins, podiums and a whole pile of points. What will 2020 bring? Find out sooner than it may seem as winter doubtlessly races past and we prepare to line up for another year of some of the closest competition on two wheels.