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Championship favourites star on Saturday at Aragon

Championship Favourites Star On Saturday At AragonAll titles could be won on Sunday at MotorLand Aragon and whilst some are more likely than others, the main contenders feature prominently at the front of the grid
The 2023 Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship is underway with the penultimate round of the season at the iconic MotorLand Aragon circuit in Spain. Always a classic where titles are up for grabs, Saturday action saw plenty of headlines, with important pole positions across all classes. In the JuniorGP™ category, Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) took pole as he aims for the crown, whilst in the Moto2™ European Championship, Senna Agius (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP Junior Team) was the rider to beat. The European Talent Cup welcomed Maximo Quiles (Aspar Junior Team) to pole and in the Stock European Championship, honours went to Daniel Muñoz (SP57 Racing Team).

The Championship is on the line this weekend in the JuniorGP™ class for Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) and he’s the rider with the pace after qualifying with a third pole of his career and indeed the season, making it back-to-back poles after Barcelona. If he leaves Aragon with a 51-point lead or more, he’s the 2023 Champion; a top eight finish guarantees this regardless of what his title rivals do. New Zealander Cormac Buchanan (AGR Team) was looking good at Aragon as he took a third front row of his career and a best grid slot in P2, almost a year to the day since his first front row in the class at the same track but will start from the back of the grid after riding slowly in multiple sectors. Completing the front row, David Almansa (Finetwork Mir Racing Team) for just his second front row in the category after last time out in Barcelona. Alvaro Carpe (STV Laglisse Racing) is promoted onto the front row, courtesy of Buchanan’s penalty.

Fifth place belonged to Adrian Cruces (Finetwork Mir Racing Team), who matches his Aragon qualifying performance from last year but starts from P4, whilst it is Nico Carraro (Aspar Junior Team) who now goes from fifth, with the second row rounded out by Tatchakorn Buasri (Honda Racing Thailand). Joel Esteban (Aspar Junior Team) will have to fight from seventh.

Moto2™ ECh
Senna Agius has the opportunity to be crowned Champion on Sunday in Race 2 but only if results go his way in the Moto2™ ECh; however, the Australian started his weekend off as he means to go on with pole position, his fifth in total and fourth of the season. The 18-year-old, who moves onto the Moto2™ World Championship in 2024, will look to sign off the Moto2™ ECh season on a high in the final two rounds and secure the title, a first for him and Australia in the category. Alongside him on the front row, Yeray Ruiz (FAU55 TEY Racing) was an impressive P2 for his joint-best starting position in the class. Alberto Surra (Team Ciatti-Boscoscuro) rounds off the front row, whilst main title rival to Agius, Xavier Cardelus (Promoracing) will go from the front of the second row in fourth.

European Talent Cup
In the warmth of MotorLand Aragon, the European Talent Cup stars were in action for a blisteringly hot qualifying session, which saw 2021 Champion and current leader of the standings Maximo Quiles take a sixth pole of his career and his third of the season but will need to take a Long Lap Penalty. Quiles will lead main title rival Brian Uriarte (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the run down to Turn 1, with the two title heavyweight both seeking a slice of Aragon success, with neither having won at Aragon in ETC before. Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) completes the front row in third. Aragon revelation Valentin Perrone (Frando Racing VHC Team), the 15-year-old Argentine, was set to go from P4 but for waiting on pit exit, he’ll now start form the back of the grid, thus promoting third in the standings and reigning ETC title-holder Guido Pini (AC Racing Team) to the second row and P6.

Stock ECh
Concluding the action, the Stock ECh saw Daniel Muñoz on pole as he’s once again the rider to beat going into the weekend; he can wrap up the title if he finishes on the podium, something he’s managed in every race this year. Second in the Championship Eric Fernandez (FAU55 TEY Racing) took second on the grid but has a two place grid drop for minimum weight infringements, meaning Dino Iozzo (IUM Motorsports) benefits, as well as Juan Rodriguez (Yamaha GV Stratos) who will now start third.

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