#JuniorGP Barcelona – Sunday roundup: JuniorGP, Moto2, ETC, STK
Six thrilling races saw six different winners under the beating Barcelona sun, and all title fights going another round
The blistering Spanish sun welcomed riders to its shores as Round 5 of the Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship took place at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Six races saw six different winners, with Xabier Zurutuza (MTA Junior Team) and Fadillah Arbi Aditama (Astra Honda Racing Team) claiming JuniorGP™ honours, with Xavier Cardelus (Promoracing) and Unai Orradre (STV Laglisse Racing) securing success in the Moto2™ European Championship.
In the single races in Catalunya, Guido Pini (AC Racing Team) stood on the top step in the European Talent Cup with Daniel Muñoz (SP57 Racing Team) doing likewise in the Stock European Championship, both after some incredible last lap drama.
In JuniorGP™, Xabi Zurutuza emerged from a large group of riders to take Race 1 victory in Barcelona, showing his class to lead the last lap and withstand pressure from behind to take the chequered flag first, and in the process, earn a second win of the campaign. Jacob Roulstone (Aspar Junior Team) followed the Spaniard over the line, while Championship leader Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) claimed third.
The opening race didn’t pass without incident, with David Almansa (Finetwork Mir Racing Team) crashing out of his podium charge on the last lap after luck deserted him, while poleman Piqueras’ podium meant he could set his sights on securing the title in Race 2.
There was drama from lights out to the chequered flag, and beyond, in the afternoon event, with a dramatic race seeing Indonesia rider Fadillah Arbi Aditama given the win. Once again, a large lead group formed, with P1 changing hands on a corner by corner basis. With two laps to go and space at a premium, there was a mid-pack collision that saw Alvaro Carpe (STV Laglisse Racing), Eddie O’Shea (British Talent Team), Jacob Roulstone and Xabi Zurutuza hit the gravel trap.
A lap and a half later, Almansa squeezed over the line ahead of Aditama by just 0.005s, but the Spaniard was adjudged to have overtaken under yellow flags and was demoted a place to second. Luca Lunetta (AC Raccing Team) came across third, but like Almansa, was penalized for the same infringement, with Joel Esteban (Aspar Junior Team) benefitting. Piqueras came home sixth, but it wasn’t enough for the title, and his charge continues into Aragon after the summer break where he will hold a comfortable 68 point advantage.
In Moto2™, Championship leader Senna Agius (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP Team) was ruled out of both races, handing a big opportunity to his rivals to close the gap, and Xavi Cardelus duly obliged. The Andorran started on pole and led the majority of the race, put on an exhibitionary defensive performance to reject the advances of Unai Orradre for the win, though, the STV Laglisse Racing rider claimed a debut podium in the class. Alberto Surra (Team Ciatti – Boscoscuro) followed the two over the line, and those three riders were the main protagonists in Race 2.
Later in the day, Orradre did manage to get the win in fine fashion in what has proved a breakthrough weekend, while it was Surra who came second, and Cardelus third after an epic three way battle for the win. All that means that going into the next round, Cardelus comes back into the title picture and sits just 20 points behind Agius in the standings.
There were twists and turns at every corner in the European Talent Cup race in Barcelona. Guido Pini claimed the win, with Casey O’Gorman (SuperHugo44 Team) and Ruche Moodley (Finetwork Mir Junior Team) on the podium after showstopping event.
Championship leader Max Quiles (Aspar Junior Team) started at the back of the grid, while his main rival Brian Uriarte (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) launched from pole. However, Quiles found himself among the lead group after just a few laps while Uriarte ended up in the gravel, ending his victory charge. The drama continued onto the last lap, with Quiles’ teammate Dodo Boggio attempting an ambitious move at Turn 10, only for the Italian to wipe out his teammate and Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0). As a result, Pini profited enormously to take the win and enter the title picture heading to Aragon.
Rounding out the day’s runs was the Stock European Championship, and keeping with the theme of the day, it was a gripping watch to the very end. Daniel Muñoz took the win, and did so in style.
In a race that often saw a strangely slow pace set at the front, the Championship leader decided to take things into his own hands with just a few laps remaining. Eric Fernandez (FAU55 Racing Team) applied the pressure from behind, and even took the lead on the last lap after a brilliant Turn 10 maneuver, but Muñoz showed his x-factor with a Valentino Rossi-like overtake at the final corner to secure a sensational win. Dino Iozzo (IUM Motorsports) ran with the top two in the title race, and claimed a superb P3.
After Muñoz sensational late move, it stretches his advantage in the Championship to 35 points, and with just 50 left on the board, he can claim the Stock crown in Aragon after the summer break.