Japanese rider finishes eighth in Race 1 as both he and Britain’s Cook score points on their first visit to the Catalan circuit, Van Eerde close to the top 15
On his first visit to the circuit, Junior Talent Team’s Haruki Noguchi took P8 in Race 1 at Round 4 of the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with teammate Max Cook earning a double point scoring finish on his debut weekend at the track.
After a sunny qualifying day, cloudy conditions greeted the Junior Talent Team for two spectacular races. In Race 1, Noguchi started from P14 and made good progress to eventually take a very solid eighth place, finishing less than half a second fourth. Cook, who started from 21st, had a great Race 1 to climb his way into the points as the British star took the chequered flag just over a second from P4 – a typical Moto3™ gaggle of riders battling for the points. Bill Van Eerde got some great experience under his belt, the reigning Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion earning a top 20 result in P19 in Race 1.
Pretty much identical conditions were the order of play for Race 2, but it wasn’t to be a repeat of Race 1 for Noguchi as the Japanese rider crashed out of contention at Turn 10. However, it was to be a repeat of Race 1 for Cook as the 16-year-old brought his Honda machine home in P13, the Brit embroiled in an intense battle for the top ten. Australia’s Van Eerde continued to take strides forward in Race 2, the 17-year-old was also right in that mix for the top ten but he eventually had to settle for 17th. Nevertheless, Van Eerde was a slender 0.3 away from the points on his first visit to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – a solid effort from himself, Cook and Noguchi throughout the weekend.
Unfortunately for the Junior Talent Team, there were only three riders laying down the rubber this weekend. After breaking his right wrist last weekend at Mugello, Yuki Kunii loses his Championship lead and slips down to third ahead of Aragon, with Mario Aji injuring his right wrist on Thursday here in Barcelona. The Indonesian now sits 20th in the overall standings, with Cook adding to his points tally to sit 24th overall.
That’s it for Round 4 in Barcelona, the Junior Talent Team will hopefully be back to full strength as we head to MotorLand Aragon for Round 5, which takes place on Sunday 14th July.