Halfway point: a battle in the heat of Jerez awaits
Halfway point: a battle in the heat of Jerez awaits. The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto looks to be a real nail-biter, with several fresh names rising to prominence and title challenges heating up.
The 25th season of the Finetwork FIM JuniorGPTM World Championship has already seen three incredible rounds, and now the paddock is making its way to the south of Spain and the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for round four. The weekend of Jerez marks the midway point of the titanic struggle for Finetwork FIM JuniorGPTM dominance, and it will feature a number of important storylines due to the presence of two JuniorGPTM races, two Hawkers European Talent Cup bouts, and a single Moto2TM European Championship confrontation.
Jose Antonio Rueda
Jose Antonio Rueda (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) maintains a dominating lead in the JuniorGPTM category, with 39 points separating him from the next closest driver, David Salvador (Laglisse Academy). After winning the last two races at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Rueda will travel to Jerez, where he has already tasted success in the Red Bull Rookies Cup this season. Salvador finished outside the top three for the first time in 2022 in Barcelona, but he has had success at Jerez in the past, including a fourth-place finish in 2021, so he will be hoping to close the gap on Rueda in the championship race this weekend. Syarifuddin Azman rounds out the top three (SIC Racing). The 20-year-old Malaysian, Azman, is eager to impress at Jerez this coming weekend after claiming his first two podiums of the season in his most recent race.
David Alonso, a Colombian on the Aspar Junior Team, finished fourth in Barcelona, one point behind Azman. Although the Jerez track hasn’t been kind to the 16-year-old in recent years, he’s determined to win there after taking his maiden victory of the season in Valencia. Filippo Farioli (Aspar Junior Team) has been impressive, finishing in the top three in each of the last three races and in fifth place overall, just one point behind teammate Alonso. The Italian took a giant leap forward from 2021, setting his maiden fastest lap in Barcelona in his most recent outing, and he finished 11th in points in 2021 JuniorGPTM at Jerez; should we keep an eye on him this weekend? Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) rounded out the top six, having placed in the top five in each of the prior four races. In Valencia, he took home the podium for the first time in his career, placing second.
Lukas Tulovic (Liqui Moly Intact GP Junior Team) remains in the lead in the Moto2TM ECh. The German cyclist has been incredibly consistent this season, finishing in either first or second place at every event thus far. The rider in form, though, is Senna Agius (Promoracing), an Australian who won for the first time in his career in his most recent outing and will try to make it three in a row at Jerez. Since neither he nor Tulovic has ever triumphed in Jerez, this match promises to be one of the most exciting of the tournament. Will Agius, who won for the 31st time in the class in Barcelona, be able to close the gap on Tulovic, or will Tulovic be able to expand his championship lead? Alex Ruiz (FAU55 Tey Racing) is the current leader in the Stock class, while Alex Escrig (Yamaha Philippines Stylobike Racing Team) is in third and hoping to get in on the action by adding to his three podiums so far this season.
The Hawkers ETC grid has two races ahead of them, both of which promise to be dramatic and exciting, but before those races can be run, some major news must be delivered. Top qualifier Joel Esteban (Aspar Junior Team) will be absent from Jerez due to illness. The 16-year-old is currently 22 points ahead of second place, but with a doubleheader this weekend, second place may easily be lost. Guido Pini (AC Racing Team) is in second place, but he has yet to win a race this year. Last year, however, at Jerez, he finished in the top 10 for the first time in Hawkers ETC. Hakim Danish (SIC Racing) and Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) are tied for third in the Championship with 49 points each; both are seeking their first victory in the class and are only a point clear of Dodo Boggio (Aspar Junior Team). With a first-place finish in Barcelona under his belt, Brian Uriarte of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 is currently ranked sixth in the standings, while reigning champion Maximo Martinez of Team Honda Laglisse is seventh and looking to get back into contention at Jerez.
Listed below is Sunday’s itinerary for the fourth round of the Finetwork FIM JuniorGPTM World Championship.
- Race 1 of the Junior Grand Prix of the Americas (JuniorGPTM) will begin at 11:00 AM and will consist of 16 laps.
- Hawkers ETC Race 1 at 12:00 p.m., 15 laps
- Moto2TM European Championship, 17 Laps, 13.00
- At 14:00, the second race of the JuniorGPTM will be held over a distance of sixteen laps.
- Time: 15:00 Second Hawkers ETC Race, 15 Laps