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Raul Fernández (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team) gave Mahindra their first pole position in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship in the fifth round of the FIM CEV Repsol at the Estoril Circuit in Portugal. In Moto2™ Lukas Tulovic (Forward Junior Team) will head the starting grid and Manuel González (Halcourier Racing) was the fastest qualifier in the European Talent Cup.
In Moto3™, Raul Fernández (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team) took his first pole of the season beating Aaron Polanco (Leopard Junior Team) by only 0.081, with Ai Ogura (Asia Talent Team) earning the last place on the front line of the starting grid. The MRW Mahindra Aspar Team rider put in his best time in Q1 with a 1:45.976 and was the only rider to get under 1.46.
Vicente Pérez (Reale Avintia Academy), poleman in the last round of the FIM CEV Repsol in Valencia, will lead the second row of the grid ahead of Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team), who fell in Q1 bringing the session to a halt while his bike was removed from the track. Jaume Masiá (Cuna de Campeones) closes out the front row.
The Moto3™ Junior World Championship couldn't be closer: the difference between Raul Fernández?s (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team) pole time and that of the twentieth-ranked rider - Daniel Jones (Racing Steps Foundation / KRP) - was less than a second. Dennis Foggia (Junior Team VR46 Riders Academy), Kazuki Masaki (Asia Talent Team) and Sergio García (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0.0) will start from the third row ahead of Alonso López (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0.0), who closes the top ten of the combined Moto3™ classification.
Lukas Tulovic (Forward Junior Team) took over from Eric Granado (Promoracing), who headed the grid in Valencia, as the fastest man in the Moto2™ qualifying session to debut as poleman in the Moto2™ European Championship with a time of 1:42.429. Only 0.002 separated him from the Promoracing rider and 0.056 from Ricky Cardús (Team Stylobike), second and third respectively: it could hardly be tighter.
Behind these riders will be Héctor Garzó (Team Wimu CNS), Steven Odendaal (NTS Sportscode T. Pro), who was the quickest in Q1, and Joe Roberts (AGR Team). Ivo Miguel Lopez, substituting for the injured David Sanchís, posted the eighth fastest time on the Easy Race Moto2 Team Suter. Local rider Carlos Mercier (Team Hipótamo) dominated in Superstock 600.
In the European Talent Cup, Manuel González (Halcourier Racing) took a confident second pole of the season, and was the only rider to lap under 1.50 with a best time of 1.49.660 in the first qualifying session. Simon Jespersen (Team Jespersen), winner of the first race in Albacete, finished second 0.201 behind the poleman and Keikon Yuji Kawakani (Playstation Laglise Academy) was third, 0.579 slower than the best time of the day.
Debuting riders at the Circuit do Estoril in the European Talent Cup Adrian Fernández (Team Stratos), brother of Raúl Fernández (MRW Mahindra Team Aspar), and local rider Kiko Martinho (HMA) were ranked seventh and twenty-eight respectively.
Sunday's race schedule is as follows:
European Talent Cup Race 1 (16 laps): 11.00
Moto2™ Race 1 (18 laps): 12.00:
Moto3™ (17 laps): 13.00
European Talent Cup Race 2 (16 laps): 14.00
Moto2™ Race 2 (18 laps): 15.00
Cuna de Campeones (8 laps): 16.00
A paddock entry will be needed for free access to Tribunes A, B and E all weekend, as well as for the Sunday Pit Lane Walk, which will start from the control tower at 10.15.
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 two Moto2™ European Championship races. Sport TV Portugal will broadcast live races in each of these categories. BT Sport (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 recorded 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 all 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.