CEV Repsol, Albacete, raceday roundup: Raffin takes the Moto2 European Championship title
Jesko Raffin (Swiss Innovative Investors Junior) was proclaimed champion of the Moto2™ European Championship in the penultimate round of the FIM CEV Repsol this Sunday at the Circuit de Albacete. On a day marked by heavy rain, Raúl Fernández (Angel Nieto Team) strengthened his leadership of Moto3™ with a new victory, while Alex Millán (Aro Racing) won from pole position in the European Talent Cup. Héctor Garzó (Team Wimu CNS) won the first Moto2™ race; the second race was stopped on the tenth lap due to weather conditions and Luis Pomares (Pinamoto RS) adjudged the winner.
In Moto3™, category leader Raúl Fernández dominated from the start to take the victory. The Angel Nieto Team rider pulled out all the stops on the first lap to establish a clear lead. Behind, Jeremy Alcoba (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0), Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team) and Apiwath Wongthananon (VR46 MasterCamp Team) settled down to fight for the other podium positions. However, with Jeremy Alcoba fading, Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) came from behind to take second position, though well adrift of the Moto3™ leader.
In the end Raúl Fernández won the race, declared wet, followed by Can Öncü and Yuki Kunii, earning his second podium of the season. Manuel Pagliani (Leopard Junior), second in the championship classification, finished eighth, closing a rather disappointing weekend in Albacete. Raúl Fernández received the Repsol free fuel cheque as race winner.
Héctor Garzó won the first Moto2™ event, a race marked by the rain that began to fall just before the start; the race was declared wet and the bikes had to be prepared for the rain on the grid. With 13 laps to race, Jesko Raffin took off like a shot, but by the end of the first lap Héctor Garzó had moved into the lead. Following him were Xavier Cardelús (Team Stylobike), Lukas Tulovic (Team Wimu CNS) and Dimas Ekky (Astra Honda Racing Team). Jesko Raffin and Edgar Pons (AGR Team), immersed in the fight for the title, ran their own race away from the podium positions. Finally Héctor Garzó took his first victory of the season accompanied on the podium by Xavier Cardelús, who at one point led the race, and Dimas Ekky, who also achieved his first podium of the season. Dani Valle (Yamaha Laglisse) was the best in Superstock 600 and Héctor Garzó received the Repsol free fuel cheque as winner of the race.
The heavy rain which began to fall once the second Moto2™ race had started brought chaos. Héctor Garzó and Lukas Tulovic had pulled clear at the beginning of the race while Xavier Cardelús once again was making a great comeback. However, after just four laps the rain forced the riders to enter the pits to change tyres. Luis Pomares, Superstock 600 rider and eventual winner of this second race, chose not to change his tyres and remained on track. On lap 11 the intense rain caused the red flag to be brought out as Race Direction opted to abandon the race. Second and third place went to Xavi Cardelús and Tommaso Marcon (Team Ciatti). According to the regulations, half of the points were distributed following the classification of the last full lap, the ninth, before the red flag. As a result, Jesko Raffin, in sixth place, earned enough points to take the Moto2™ European Championship title.
In the ETC, Alex Millán had a perfect weekend, starting from pole to achieve his first victory of the year in a race marked by the track conditions. As soon as the lights went out, David Muñoz (Jerez Andalucía Motor Talent), Marcos Uriarte (MRE Talent) and José Antonio Rueda (Talent Team Estrella Galicia 0.0) pulled away from the rest, chased by Matteo Bertelle (SIC58 Squadra Corse), who eventually took the lead after a spectacular comeback. The poor state of the track caused David Muñoz and Marcos Uriarte to fall, while Matteo Bertelle and José Antonio Rueda were forced out of the race with mechanical problems. Alex Millán obtained the reward for his efforts as he took the chequered flag followed by David Salvador (Cuna de Campeones) and Fermín Aldeguer (Bester Capital Dubai). Fourth and fifth respectively went to Víctor Rodríguez (Ikono Motorbike Laglisse) and Xavier Artigas (Honda Impala). Alex Millán received the Repsol free fuel cheque as the winner of the race. Regarding the fight for the title in the ETC, Xavier Artigas will arrive in Valencia – the last race of the season – with 19 points advantage over closest rival Víctor Rodríguez.
The next round of the FIM CEV Repsol will be the last of the season, and will take place in Valencia on November 25.