CEV Repsol 2018 comes to a close in Valencia – raceday roundup

 In JuniorGP, News

The final round of the 2018 FIM CEV Repsol season at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo saw victories for Japanese rider Ai Ogura and Sergio García in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Edgar Pons in the Moto2™ European Championship, Víctor Rodríguez in the European Talent Cup and Abián Santana in the European Kawasaki Z Cup.

Xavier Artigas in the ETC and Abián Santana in the EKZC were proclaimed champions and have joined those already confirmed: Raúl Fernández in Moto3™ and Jesko Raffin in Moto2™.

The first Moto3™ race was decided among the four riders who were able to stay on the track in the front group. Japanese rider Ai Ogura (Asia Talent Team) and Spaniards Aleix Viu (Marinelli), Jeremy Alcoba (Estrella Galicia) and Raúl Fernández (Ángel Nieto Team) fought for the podium positions after falls by poleman Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team), Italian rider Yari Montella (SIC58) and the Kazakh rider Makar Yurchenko (Laglisse Academy). After leading for a lap and a half, champion Raul Fernandez decided to play safe for a podium finish, leaving Ogura and Alcoba to fight for the victory. The Japanese rider took the lead in the final corner and crossed the line to win, with Alcoba coming in second.

After the race Fernández commented: “I wanted the victory, but more than anything I wanted to celebrate the title on the podium so I decided to play it safe. It has been a good championship; right from the start of the season we have been very consistent and the whole team has been very close. We have overcome some difficult moments and have kept on learning. This title and the being on the same list as Maverick Viñales, Álex Rins or Álex Márquez gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

Sergio García (Estrella Galicia) won the second race and says goodbye to the event in which he achieved four victories this season before moving on to the World Championship. García earned the runner-up position in Moto3™ after passing the finish line in first place, a lap before a red flag brought the race to a close due to the fall of Indonesian rider Garry Salim (Astra Honda). In second place came Ai Ogura, completing an almost perfect weekend, followed by Turkish rider Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM), the youngest ever winner of a World Championship race in the recent Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

Garcia admitted to being “Very happy, because I thought it was going to be really tough starting from 17th on the grid, so it’s a great way to say goodbye to the championship. I’m already really looking forward to the next stage of my career.”

The ETC title – for the youngest riders of the FIM CEV Repsol – was decided in a two-part race, after the race was interrupted after a fall in the Nico Terol Curve: Alejandro Díez (Honda Impala) had to receive emergency treatment right at the edge of the track, which forced the Circuit Ricardo Tormo authorities to bring out the red flag. In the resumption, a sprint of only 5 laps, Víctor Rodríguez (Laglisse) dominated the last lap and crossed the line just ahead of José Antonio Rueda (Estrella Galicia) and Adrián Fernández (Ajo Motorsport), younger brother of the Moto3™ JWCh champion,

Behind, in fifth place, came Xavi Artigas (Honda Impala), carefully calculating the points to take the ETC title by five points over Rodríguez and 24 over Ricardo Tormo Circuit School rider David Salvador (Cuna de Campeones). Xavier Artigas succeeds Manuel González as champion of the popular ETC, which this year celebrates its second running.

The Moto2™ EC race was a head-to-head duel between two riders with World Championship experience. With six laps to go, poleman Edgar Pons (AGR) pulled away from Valencian Hector Garzo (Team Wimu CNS) who had led the race until then to take the victory. The tussle for third place was one of the attractions of this final race, involving Marc Alcoba (Dynavolt Intanct), Tommaso Marcon (Team Ciatti) and the already proclaimed European champion, Swiss rider Jesko Raffin (Easy Race). Finally, Alcoba and the Italian Marcon crossed the line in an unsportsmanlike manner and were sanctioned, so in the end the champion Raffin accompanied Pons and Garzó on the Cheste podium.

Abián Santana took the victory and the European Kawasaki Z Cup title. Starting from pole position the rider from the Canaries rode comfortably to reach the finish line well ahead of his rivals to take the title. Óscar Ibáñez and David Vázquez accompanied him on the podium.

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