Halfway point: a battle in the heat of Jerez awaits

With new names coming to the fore of late and title challenges gathering momentum, the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto promises a thriller

After three stunning rounds in the 25th season of Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship, the paddock heads to the south of Spain and the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, the fourth round of the season. With two JuniorGP™ races, two Hawkers European Talent Cup battles and a sole Moto2™ European Championship encounter, there will be plenty of key stories unfolding throughout the weekend, as Jerez marks the halfway point of the titanic tussle for Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ supremacy.

The charge really is on in the JuniorGP™ category, with Jose Antonio Rueda (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) sporting a commanding lead in the Championship, with 39 points his margin over the chasing pack, headed by David Salvador (Laglisse Academy). Rueda dominated the last two races at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and now heads to Jerez, where he’s a winner already in the Red Bull Rookies Cup earlier in the year. For the first time in 2022, Salvador failed to get on the podium last time out in Barcelona, but with plenty of good results in the past at Jerez, including a fourth last season, he’ll hope to claw back Rueda in the title chase this weekend. Completing the top three, Syarifuddin Azman (SIC Racing). In contrast to Salvador, Azman got his first two podiums of the season last time out, with the 20-year-old Malaysian keen to shine at Jerez this coming weekend.

Behind the top three and just a point behind Azman, Colombian David Alonso (Aspar Junior Team) had a tricky time in Barcelona. However, having taken a first win of the season back in Valencia, he’s keen to turn things around at Jerez, although the circuit hasn’t been kind to him in recent years; the 16-year-old hasn’t won there. Fifth overall and a point further back of teammate Alonso, the impressive Filippo Farioli (Aspar Junior Team) has three podiums in his last three races. A huge step forward from 2021, the Italian set his first fastest lap last time out in Barcelona, whilst he took his only points finish of the 2021 JuniorGP™ season at Jerez with 11th; is he one to watch out for this weekend? Completing the top six, Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0), who’s finished the last four races inside the top five, including a first podium in Valencia with second.

It's game on in the Moto2™ ECh, as Lukas Tulovic (Liqui Moly Intact GP Junior Team) continues to lead the way. Despite being unable to come out on top in Barcelona, the German rider has finished every race so far this season inside the top two, with fantastic consistency. However, a first-time winner last time out, Senna Agius (Promoracing) is the rider in form and the Australian will look to make it three in a row at Jerez. Neither he nor Tulovic have won at Jerez before, making this round one of the most intriguing ones so far. Can Agius, who became the 31st different winner in the class in Barcelona, continue his charge towards Tulovic, or will Tulovic extend his Championship lead? In third place and aiming to get in on the action, Alex Escrig (Yamaha Philippines Stylobike Racing Team) aims to build on his three podiums so far this season whilst in the Stock class, Alex Ruiz (FAU55 Tey Racing) is leading the way.

Two races of drama and excitement are on the horizon for the Hawkers ETC grid but there’s big news coming into the round. Joel Esteban (Aspar Junior Team) is on top of the standings, but he won’t be taking part at Jerez due to illness. The 16-year-old leads the standings by 22 points but with a double header this weekend, the lead could be gone. Guido Pini (AC Racing Team) lies second but is without a victory so far this season, although he scored his first ever top ten in Hawkers ETC at Jerez last year. Third in the Championship on 49 points, Hakim Danish (SIC Racing) is level with Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0); both chase a first win in the class and are just ahead of Dodo Boggio (Aspar Junior Team). Sixth place belongs to Brian Uriarte (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) who achieved a first win last time out in Barcelona whilst defending title-holder Maximo Martinez (Team Honda Laglisse) aims to get back in the mix at Jerez and is seventh overall.

The Sunday race schedule for Round 4 of the Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship is as follows:

11:00 – JuniorGP™ Race 1: 16 laps
12:00 – Hawkers ETC Race 1: 15 laps
13:00 – Moto2™ ECh: 17 laps
14:00 – JuniorGP™ Race 2: 16 laps
15:00 – Hawkers ETC Race 2: 15 laps

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