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By FIM CEV Repsol

First poles of 2018 go to Pagliani, Fernández and Baltus

The opening round of the FIM CEV Repsol at the Circuito do Estoril in Portugal saw exciting qualifying sessions in all three classes

On a day marked by wind and awkward track conditions Manuel Pagliani (Leopard Junior) in Moto3™, Augusto Fernández (Easyrace) in Moto2™ and Barry Baltus (Reale Avintia Academy) in the European Talent Cup earned their first poles in the FIM CEV Repsol and will lead off the starting grids of their respective categories after dominating the qualifying sessions of the first round of the season this weekend at the Circuito do Estoril.

Manuel Pagliani (Leopard Junior) took his first pole in the FIM CEV Repsol by setting the fastest Q1 and Q2 time in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship with a time of 1:47.676 achieved in a very competitive Q2 session in which Tom Booth-Amos (British Talent Team) finished a mere 0.032 behind the poleman with Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) trailing the Leopard Junior rider by just 0.075.

The top fifteen riders set times within a second of the poleman, showing clearly how level the Moto3™ playing field is, with two new riders qualifying for the front row. Raúl Fernández (Angel Nieto Team) will lead off the second row of the grid followed by Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team) and Jeremy Alcoba (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0.0).

In Moto2™, Augusto Fernández (Easyrace) gained his first pole in the Moto2™ European Championship. The Easyrace team rider posted the best time of 1:44.466 in Q2 on the Suter to head the grid ahead of Xavier Cardelús (Team Stylobike) and Jesko Raffin (Swiss Innovative), who make up the first row. Local rider Ivo Lopes (Eni-Motor7-Pequeño Motos)  takes fifth slot - and is also the top Superstock 600 rider - behind Marcel Brenner (H43 Team Nobby-Talasur) and ahead of Dimas Ekky ( Astra Honda Racing Team) who closes out the second row of the grid. Edgar Pons (AGR Team) and Lukas Tulovic (Team Wimu CNS) start on the third row, in seventh and eighth position respectively.

In the ETC, Barry Baltus (Reale Avintia Academy) leads off in the two races that take place this Sunday at the Estoril track. The Reale Avintia Academy rider posted a 1:52.401 to earn his first pole position at the FIM CEV Repsol. Next to him will be Francisco Gómez (Larresport Bradol) and Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Blumaq HMA) in a grid made up of riders with the best qualifying times from the 49 registered riders, who had to be divided into two groups for the qualifying sessions.

The first round at the Circuito do Estoril has a two-race program for Moto2™ and ETC, with one race in Moto3™. The European Kawasaki Z Cup returns to the FIM CEV Repsol although not until the second round of the season in Valencia on April 29.

Sunday’s race schedule is as follows:

ETC Race 1 (16 laps): 11.00
Moto2™ Race 1 (18 laps): 12.00
Moto3™ (17 laps): 13.00
ETC 2 Race 2 (16 laps): 14.00
Moto2™ Race 2 (18 laps): 15.00

The entrance to grandstands A, B and E will be free over the weekend with a paddock pass which will also enable fans to take part in the Pit Lane Walk on Sunday. The meeting point will be at the control tower at 10:05.

The FIM CEV Repsol’s TV presence continues to grow both in Europe and in the rest of the world. In Spain, Movistar MotoGP broadcasts live all of the scheduled races of the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Moto2™ European Championship and European Talent Cup, as does BT Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In Italy, Sky will broadcast live the Moto3™ Junior World Championship and the Moto2™ European Championship races.

Eurosport, through Eurosportplayer (France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Romania), will also offer live coverage of all of the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Moto2™ European Championship and European Talent Cup 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 European Talent Cup thanks to recorded broadcasts by the Spiler TV channel.

Fans in Latin America, the United States, Canada and France will be able to experience 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™ Junior World Championship and Moto2 ™ European Championship.

Also joining TV coverage of the championship, the Edgesport Channel will broadcast live all the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, Moto2™ European Championship and European Talent Cup 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 through the championship’s YouTube channel.