Indonesian will start from 8th in Estoril with Kunii and Cook not far behind
Qualifying for the opening round of the 2019 FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship got underway at the Circuito do Estoril, with Mario Aji leading the Junior Talent Team charge in tricky conditions in Portugal.
Wet and windy weather greeted the riders for their first qualifying sessions of the year as Aji set a 1:48.116 to see the Indonesian lineup eighth on the grid ahead of his debut in the Junior World Championship. Yuki Kunii wasn’t far behind, the Japanese rider rounding out the top 10 with a best time of 1:48.458 in difficult conditions to spearhead the 4th row. Max Cook also had a positive session, the British rider managing to put in a 1:48.730 to finish just 0.054 off the fourth row in P13 as all three aim to build on their good qualifying pace in Sunday’s race.
Unfortunately, the Junior Talent Team are without reigning Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion Billy van Eerde and Haruki Noguchi this weekend. The Australian’s test at Estoril on Thursday to see if it was possible to ride this weekend was unsuccessful, with Noguchi suffering an injury while testing for this season’s Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. We look forward to seeing them both back on track soon.
A depleted Junior Talent Team is still looking strong for the first race of the season though, with conditions set to be similar to what we saw in qualifying. Make sure you watch Aji, Kunii and Cook in action for the first time this season when the Moto3™ race gets underway at 13:00 local time (GMT+1).