Japanese rider heads the Junior Talent Team riders in qualifying at the penultimate round of the season
Haruki Noguchi heads the Junior Talent Team riders after qualifying at Round 7 of the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Champion at the Circuito de Albacete. The Japanese rider will launch from P11 after setting a best time of 1:34.686 in the second qualifying session, just over half a second away from pole position.
It was perfect conditions for the Junior Talent Team riders on Saturday and sitting just two places behind his teammate on the grid will be Mario Aji. The Indonesian is just six tenths shy from pole position and both he and Noguchi will be pushing for strong top 10 finishes in the race on Sunday, having both took top 10s last time out in Jerez.
Meanwhile, Max Cook will launch from P19. Under a second from pole, the British rider will be confident he can stake a claim for more points having come home agonisingly close in Jerez just a couple of weeks ago. Slightly further back in P23 is reigning Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion Bill Van Eerde, the Australian aiming to join teammate Cook in battling for the points with just three races of the season to go.
Once again stepping in for the injured Yuki Kunii is 2019 British Talent Cup Champion Scott Ogden. The British rider had an excellent debut FIM CEV Repsol Junior World Championship debut in Jerez and after securing a P25 grid slot in Albacete, Ogden has the chance to fight for – at least – a top 20 finish having qualified just over a tenth slower than Van Eerde.
A good day all round then for the Junior Talent Team riders in Albacete, but tomorrow is where it really counts. Just one Moto3™ race awaits at 13:00 local time (GMT+2), what can Noguchi, Aji, Cook, Van Eerde and Ogden achieve when they tackle the tight, twisty and technical Albacete layout on Sunday?