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Pole positions went to Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda RT) in Moto3™, Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline) in Moto2™, Meikon Yuji Kawakami (Playstation Laglisse Academy) in the European Talent Cup and Joan Sardanyons in the European Kawasaki Z Cup. Treacherous track conditions due to the rain characterized the qualifying sessions of the first meeting of the FIM CEV Repsol this weekend at the Circuito de Albacete. The weather forecast for this Sunday, however, is for sun and good weather.
Thai rider Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda RT) made his debut in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship today, earning his first pole in a qualifying session which was organised by dividing the riders into two groups. Chantra posted a time of 1:42.063 giving him the lead of Group A qualifying, leaving Raúl Fernández (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team) in second, 0.515 behind. Ai Ogura (Asia Talent Team), who last year rode in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and was also debuting in Moto3™, finished third, 0.082 adrift of the Madrid rider.
In Group B, Aleix Viu (42Motorsport) was one of the few riders to improve on the Q1 time by lapping in 1:42.418. Kazakhstani rider Makar Yurchenko (Reale Avintia Academy) was 0.842 behind with José Julián García (Fau55 Racing) trailing him by only 0.032 in third slot. After combining the classifications of the two groups, Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda RT) will start first in Sunday's Moto3™ race followed by Aleix Viu (42Motorsport) and Raúl Fernandez (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team).
In Moto2™, Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline) showed his quality as a World Championship rider by taking the Moto2™ European Championship pole position with a time of 1:41.018 beating debuting rider Héctor Garzó (Team Wimu CNS) by 0.123. Indonesian Dimas Ekky (Astra Honda Racing Team) showed his skills in difficult conditions to chalk up the third best time of the Moto2™ qualifying session. Current champion Steven Odendaal (NTS Sportcode T. Pro) will start on the third row of the grid tomorrow along with Augusto Fernández (Easyrace Moto2 Team). Brazilian Eric Granado (Promoracing) will start from the second row.
Brazilian Meikon Yuji Kawakami (Playstation Laglisse Academy) set the time to beat in the qualifying session of the European Talent Cup, adapting well to the difficult track conditions. The Japanese-born Brazilian rider put up a time of 1:46.103 while Joan Uviña (Team Stratos) finished second 0.475 behind, with Andreas Pérez (Reale Avintia Academy) completing the first row of the starting grid.
The other contenders finished more than a second adrift: Manuel González (Halcourier Racing) finished in fourth slot 1.022 behind. Meikon Yuji Kawakami (Playstation Laglisse Academy) will lead off the grid at the inaugural race of the European Talent Cup which at Albacete this weekend has a two-race program.
In the European Kawasaki Z Cup's first race of the season Joan Sardanyons started from pole, though it was Raúl Martínez (Motorbike Moya Competición) who took the victory in the first race of the weekend, ahead of Joan Sardanyons and Javier Valera. The second race is on Sunday at 11 o'clock. Raúl Martínez starts as leader in the overall rankings and second place ranked Joan Sardanyons once again leads off from pole position.
Sunday's race schedule is as follows:
European Kawasaki Z Cup (19 laps): 11.00
European Talent Cup race 1 (18 laps): 12.00
Moto2™ (19 laps): 13.00
Moto3™ (19 laps): 14.00
European Talent Cup race 2 (18 laps): 15.00
Cuna de Campeones race 2 (11 laps): 16.00
As usual, entrance to the paddock will be free all weekend. In addition, FIM CEV Repsol fans who go to the main access of the Circuito de Albacete paddock on Sunday from 9.00 am onwards can take part in the Pit Lane Walk. Only the first arrivals will get a pass for the Pit Lane Walk with a maximum of two passes per person. The Pit Lane Walk will take place at 10.15 am and start from the control tower.
In Spain, races will be broadcast live on the Movistar MotoGP channel, which will show all of the scheduled races in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, the Moto2™ European Championship and the European Talent Cup categories. In Italy, Sky will broadcast live the Moto3™ Junior World Championship and the Moto2™ European Championship, while Sport TV Portugal will air a recorded version of the races in each category.
BT Sports (UK) and Eurosport, via Eurosportplayer (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Romania) will also offer coverage of the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, the Moto2™ European Championship and the European Talent Cup with a live broadcast of each of the races.
In the United States through its digital medium, Motor Trend OnDemand will air races in all of the categories; while in Brazil Moto2™ European Championship fans will be able to watch the deferred races on Band Sports.
Covering much of Latin America and North America as well as France, Motorsport.com will offer live broadcasts on demand of each of the races of the three main categories, while its partner MotorSportTV will offer recorded coverage in these areas via TV.
In addition, all of the races will be aired live via the Championship's Youtube channel.