Four out of five Junior Talent Team riders take solid points finishes on an impressive first race day in Valencia
Takuma Matsuyama converted his first front row into an impressive fourth place in the first race of the FIM CEV Repsol season finale in Valencia, fighting at the front throughout to take his best FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship result to date. The race was red-flagged and restarted on Saturday, making it a 12-lap sprint to the finish.
In the seasonable and sunny conditions, rookie Matsuyama kept it cool from the off to hold third early doors, in contention for a podium from lights out. The front group was a five-rider fight for the rostrum for much of the race until the top trio were just able to pull away, with Matsuyama crossing the line to secure fourth and his best result yet.
The good news didn’t stop there for the JTT. Mario Aji, after qualifying 12th, put in an impressive push to the top six as he took his second best FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship finish and his best of the season. The Indonesian got away well to lead the second group for much of the race and won a duel for P6 by just 0.055, giving him a solid haul of 10 points and the perfect springboard ahead of Sunday’s two races.
Tatchakorn Buasri, meanwhile, put in a stunner on Saturday. After a tougher qualifying left the Thai rider outside the top twenty on the grid, he sliced through the pack to take his best result yet with an impressive tenth place. He was also only just over half a second shy of Aji as a big group fought it out for the top six; that incredible progress made even more impressive by the shortened race distance.
Scott Ogden, who headed the fourth row completed by Aji, was in the fight for the top ten right to the end too. The Brit ultimately came across the line in P12 for another solid haul of points to add to his total, rounding out that close group of riders from Aji in sixth down to 12th. On Sunday he’ll be looking for some revenge to keep a place in the top ten at the flag.
Finally, there was some bad luck for Max Cook on Saturday. The British Talent Team rider fought it out for the points throughout but then suffered a late crash trying to catch the group ahead. He’ll regroup for two more races on Sunday, ready to end the season on a high with some points.
Tune in for more from the Junior Talent Team on Sunday, with lights out for the final two races of 2020 at 11:00 (GMT +1) and 14:00 respectively.