Madrid rider Raúl Fernández (Angel Nieto Team) was proclaimed champion of the Moto3™ JWCh after the qualifying practice for the final round of the FIM CEV Repsol this weekend at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Once the absence of his only rival for the title – Italian Manuel Pagliani (Leopard Junior) – was confirmed, the Angel Nieto Team rider was able to officially celebrate the championship title, the first in Moto3™ for a Spanish rider since Álex Márquez in 2012. With this title, Raúl Fernández, 18, follows Italians Dennis Foggia, champion in 2017, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, champion in 2016 and Nicoló Bulega, champion in 2015, and the Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, champion in 2013 and 2014.
A “happy” Fernández will now face the two races on Sunday as champion. “Although there’s no pressure, I will be fighting for victory in both races because I think we can do it.” The Madrid rider has very clear career goals: “Since I was a kid I always wanted to be world champion, but this isn’t my real goal: my objective is to win in Moto3™ and Moto2™ and just to get to the MotoGP™. Even if they told me that I would never be champion but I could compete in the MotoGP™ and maybe get on the podium … where do I sign? I am beginning to realise that it’s possible to get to the MotoGP™ because Mir and Quartararo have got there and I’ve raced against them,” said the Angel Nieto Team rider.
Despite being the happiest rider in the Ricardo Tormo Circuit pits, Fernández finished in fifth place in the qualifying sessions and will start from the second row of Sunday’s grid. Japanese rider Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team) dominated, posting a 1:39.027, with Kazakh rider Makar Yurchenko (Laglisse Academy) and teammate Ai Ogura (Asia Talent Team) two tenths slower. This is the Japanese rider’s first pole, although he won the first race of the two disputed at Jerez. Raúl Fernández will share the second row of the grid with Italian Davide Pizzoli (Leopard Junior) and Jeremy Alcoba (Estrella Galicia Junior). Turkish rider Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – winner of the last Grand Prix of the Comunitat Valenciana – will start from the third row after chalking up the eighth fastest time, seven tenths behind the poleman. The 43 Moto3™ riders will dispute two 18-lap races on Sunday.
The quickest of the Moto2™ European Championship riders was Edgar Pons (AGR Team), who took pole position ahead of the Italian Tommaso Marcon (Team Ciatti) and local rider Héctor Garzó (Team Wimu CNS). Swiss rider Jesko Raffin (Easy Race), champion since Albacete, will start from the third row of the grid with the seventh best time, more than a second adrift of the poleman.
The youngest riders in the FIM CEV Repsol, competing in the European Talent Cup, are the only ones who still have a title to fight for. José Antonio Rueda (Estrella Galicia) earned pole position after dominating the two qualifying sessions of Group B. Rueda will have his team mate Julián Giral (Estrella Galicia) and Fermín Aldeguer (Bester Capital Dubai) at his side on the front row of the grid. But the fight for the title is centered on the second row, with the leader of the overall standings Xavier Artigas (Honda Impala) and Víctor Rodríguez (Ikono Motorbike Laglisse), who is second position 19 points adrift. The other candidate for the title, Cuna de Campeones rider David Salvador, will start from the third row of the grid.
In the European Kawasaki Z Cup, Gabriel Durán will start from pole position with David Vázquez and Óscar Ibáñez also on the front row of the grid. The leader of the general classification, Abián Santana, will start from the second row of the grid in fourth position in his fight for the title against his main rivals, poleman Durán and Javier Valera, who will start fifth.
As usual, entrance to the paddock will be free over the weekend. In addition, FIM CEV Repsol fans can get a pass to take part in the Pit Lane Walk. Passes can be obtained from Info Punto 1 (at the main access to the paddock) from 9.00 on Sunday. Only the first comers will get a pass, with a maximum of two passes per person. The Pit Lane Walk will take place at 10.15 am and start from the outside of the control tower.
The FIM CEV Repsol’s TV presence continues to grow in both Europe and the rest of the world. In Spain, Movistar MotoGP broadcasts live all of the scheduled races of the Moto3™ JWCh, Moto2™ ECh and ETC, as does BT Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In Italy, Sky will broadcast live the Moto3™ JWCh and Moto2™ ECh races.
Eurosport, through Eurosportplayer (France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Romania), will also offer live coverage of all of the Moto3™ JWCh and Moto2™ ECh and ETC races. In Portugal, Sport TV consolidates its commitment to motorcycling by broadcasting live or recorded versions of all the races scheduled throughout the season. For the first time Hungarian fans will be able to enjoy the ETC thanks to recorded broadcasts on the Spiler TV channel.
Fans in Latin America, the United States, Canada and France will be able to watch recorded versions of all the races through Motosport TV, while their OTT will broadcast the races live. Band Sports television extends its coverage of the FIM CEV Repsol by showing recorded versions of the Moto3™ JWCh and Moto2™ ECh. Also joining TV coverage of the championship, the Edgesport Channel will air live all the Moto3™ JWC and Moto2™ ECh and ETC races, as well as being available 24/7 on various platforms with coverage in Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Solomon Island, Thailand and Vietnam.
In addition, in those countries without television coverage, all races will be broadcast live on the championship’s Youtube channel.
All the results and information about the Championship are on the official website: www.fimcevrepsol.com
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