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DING DING! JuniorGP™ set for Round 2 Valencia fight

18/05/2022

With three new winners all taking the spoils in the first round, their rivals will be keen to strike back this weekend

After a thrilling start to the 25th season of the Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship, the paddock is back again and ready to take on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia for Round 2. After three first-time winners across all three classes in Portugal at the Circuito Estoril, Spain welcomes the series for another battle, with plenty at stake across the weekend. Can the winners from Estoril be toppled?

Starting in the JuniorGP™, their opening race saw a first career victory in the class for Tatchakorn Buasri (Honda Racing Thailand), likewise a first for Thailand. Buasri benefited from a last lap penalty for Jose Antonio Rueda (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) for exceeding track limits, thus taking the victory, and Rueda will continue his search for that elusive first win, whilst David Salvador (Laglisse Academy) also goes in search of a first win, with third at Estoril to start 2022. In terms of Valencia form, Buasri made his debut in the class back in 2018 before taking his first ever top ten at the circuit in 2020, whilst Rueda took a podium in the Hawkers European Talent Cup in 2018. For Salvador, a podium last year puts him as one of the favourites.

Chasing the leading three, Colombian rider David Alonso (Aspar Junior Team) narrowly missed out on the podium by just 0.005s and he'll want to correct that in Valencia. An impressive rookie debut was made by Adrian Cruces (Cuna de Campeones), with the 15-year-old in fine form as he even led in his first race in the JuniorGP™ class. A podium in last year's Hawkers ETC at the track, Cruces aims to build this weekend. Unable to make a last lap challenge in Estoril was rookie Facundo Llambias (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0), but the Uruguayan teenager has Valencia experience with two top ten results on his Hawkers ETC debut last year. Other riders to watch out for will be Harrison Voight (SIC58) and Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) who both crashed out of the lead battle at Estoril, as well as Eddie O'Shea (British Talent Team), coming from a first top ten.

In the Moto2™ European Championship, it was victory at long last for Lukas Tulovic (Liqui Moly Intact JuniorGP Team), as the German powered to a dominant double at Estoril. After two wins, a pole and two fastest laps, Tulovic arrives in Valencia aiming to continue his good form at a circuit where he took a third-place finish in 2021. Chasing him, Senna Agius (Promoracing) made an emphatic debut in the Moto2™ ECh class; two second place finishes and keeping Tulovic honest, he's certainly one to watch in Valencia. Italian rider Mattia Rato (MMR) is third after taking a career-first podium at Estoril with third, meaning he's 24 points behind Tulovic. Others to look out for are Alex Toledo (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Euvic Racing Team), teammate Piotr Biesiekirski, who is back from injury, Estoril Race 1 podium finisher Alex Escrig (Yamaha Philippines Stylobike Team) and Xavi Cardelus (Promoracing). After a double win at Estoril, Alex Ruiz (FAU55 Tey Racing) is the top Stock rider.

The Hawkers European Talent Cup promises more drama this weekend, with everyone's sights set on chasing down Joel Esteban (Aspar Junior Team), who took a commanding double at Estoril. He has a best result of fifth in Valencia from the start of 2021; second in the standings is Malaysian rider Hakim Danish (SIC Racing), who took a first podium in the Hawkers ETC last time out at Estoril in Race 2. A strong first round for Italian star Guido Pini (AC Racing Team) will see him feature strongly in Valencia, whereas other podium finishers from Round 1 include Italian Dodo Boggio (Aspar Junior Team) and Finnish rider Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0). Irish rider Casey O'Gorman (MLav VisionTrack Academy) hopes to conquer the rostrum and reigning title holder Maximo Martinez (Team Honda Laglisse) aims to put his double DNF from Round 1 behind him and bounce back.

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