Japanese rider finished sixth and eighth as the Junior Talent Team enjoy a solid Sunday in Andalusia
After qualifying 19th on Saturday afternoon, Haruki Noguchi pulled out all the stops on Sunday to claim a phenomenal double FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship top 10 at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. After an unfortunate crash in Race 1, Mario Aji was able to take home a P9 in Race 2 having picked up his best qualifying position of the season in P3.
In both races, Japan’s Noguchi made rapid progress through the field to get in amongst the battle for the higher regions of the points. Aji, after making a good start in Race 1, crashed at Turn 4 in the opening stages but was scrapping with teammate Noguchi, and a big bunch of other riders, for the top five in the second race. In the opening race of the day, Noguchi was able to take eighth, just over a second from Championship leader Jeremy Alcoba in P2. Then, alongside Aji, the Junior Talent Team riders took the chequered flag in sixth and ninth to cement a nice chunk of points from Jerez.
In Race 1, Max Cook was just three tenths shy of the points in P16 having started from 20th. The British rider then finished 17th in the scorching afternoon conditions to cap off a solid weekend in southern Spain, this time a couple of seconds away from the points. Meanwhile, Bill Van Eerde was a couple of seconds off Cook in Race 1 as the Australian took P18, before the Australian crashed with 11 laps remaining in Race 2. No matter, a weekend the 2018 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion will take the positives from as he continues to find his feet in the Junior World Championship.
On his debut weekend with the team, subbing in for the injured Yuki Kunii, 2019 British Talent Cup Champion Scott Ogden battled for the top 20 in the first race as he took part in a Moto3™ Junior World Championship race for the first time. Ogden, picking up 24th in Race 1, then went two positions better in Race 2 to claim P22. A good learning curve weekend for the British star.
And that’s all from an action-packed weekend at the iconic Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. Points for both Noguchi and Aji will give them an added injection of confidence as we head to Albacete for the penultimate round of the 2019 season. The team will emerge all guns blazing in a couple of weekends time as the riders aim for a strong end to the 2019 campaign.