After a wet start at Estoril, it’s time to reset for Round 2 – this time at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo
In a season opener characterised by tough conditions at the Circuito do Estoril, it was Mario Aji who took home the best result for the Junior Talent Team on his debut with the outfit as the Indonesian came home an impressive fourth. Max Cook took some solid points for the British Talent Team, too, but expected frontrunner Yuki Kunii struggled in the wet and reigning Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion Bill Van Eerde and runner-up Haruki Noguchi were out due to injury – so it’s time for some to build on Estoril and for others to hit reset. But to help them hit the ground running, there are two races this time around as we head for the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and so plenty at stake in Round 2.
Valencia is a very different challenge to Estoril, set in a natural amphitheatre and much tighter. It’s also a track most have more experience of, which could raise already high levels of competition even further. Last season Kunii took three top five finishes in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship’s four races at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, so he’ll be gunning for more much than his fruitless finish in Estoril. For Kunii, the Championship fight starts now and there are 50 points up for grabs on this first visit to Valencia of the season.
Aji and Cook, meanwhile, will be buoyed by a good first race and aiming for more of the same – points at least. Both did well to survive high rates of attrition in Estoril and they’ll be eager to now head out to race on what’s more likely to remain a dry track. That will give them a more useful benchmark to judge their progress against in their rookie season and, speaking of rookies, Van Eerde and Noguchi will have a similar aim as they head out: get points on the board, and also kickstart their campaigns after a tough start on the sidelines.
Round 2 sees the JTT take on Valencia from 26th-28th April, with two Moto3™ races sure to prove a double header of incredible close competition as always. Race 1 starts at 11:00 local time (GMT +2), with Race 2 underway from 14:00.