JuniorGP, Valencia – qualifying roundup: Rueda, Tulovic and Esteban claim poles
On a scorching Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship Saturday at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Jose Rueda (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0), Lukas Tulovic (Liqui Moly Intact GP Junior Team) and Joel Esteban (Aspar Team) made it back-to-back pole positions in 2022 in the JuniorGP™, Moto2™ European Championship and Hawkers European Talent Cup classes.
With temperatures soaring to nearly 30 degrees in the afternoon, the cooler morning sessions were where the pole positions were decided across all three classes. Rueda’s 1:39.835 lap was good enough to beat second place Luca Lunetta (AC Racing Team) by a slim 0.113s, with David Salvador (Laglisse Academy) claiming P3 – the Spaniard was 0.134s away from Rueda’s pace.
4th place in JuniorGP™ qualifying went to David Alonso (Aspar Team), he too was just over a tenth down on pole position, and it was the Colombian who topped the timesheets in QP2 with a 1:40.846. Syarifuddin Azman (SIC Racing) and Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) complete the second row of the grid, while Championship leader Tatchakorn Buasri (Asia Talent Team) aims to keep his title advantage intact from P9.
Tulovic will be launching from pole once more in the Moto2™ ECh, but his advantage this weekend isn’t the near the half a second he enjoyed back in Estoril. The German’s 1:34.777 was just 0.027s faster than Alex Escrig’s (Yamaha Philippines Stylobike) as the duo look set for a fantastic battle at the front in Sunday’s race. Third on the Moto2™ ECh grid will be Senna Agius (Promoracing), the Australian will be hoping to add to his double P2 scored in Round 1 last time out.
Esteban’s 1:41.975 was enough to place him on pole once more and alongside the Barcelona-born rider will be Brian Uriarte (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0). Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) qualified third and will start on the front row for Race 2, but the Finn will start from the back of the grid for Race 1 after riding slowly in more than five sectors during qualifying. Cesar Parrilla (FAU55 TEY Racing), having qualified fourth, will move up to the front row for the Race 1.
Five races await in Valencia on Sunday – two each from the JuniorGP™ and Hawkers ETC classes, and one from the Moto2™ ECh. See the time schedule (local time) below:
11:00 – JuniorGP™ Race 1: 18 laps
12:00 – Hawkers ETC Race 1: 17 laps
13:00 – Moto2™ ECh: 19 laps
14:00 – JuniorGP™ Race 2: 18 laps
15:00 – Hawkers ETC Race 2: 17 laps