After a fantastic day of racing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, two new names have etched their name into the FIM MiniGP World Series Champions book - Malaysia's Qabil Irfan in the 160cc class and Spain's Alvaro Lucas in the new 190cc class.
Having stuck in on pole position on Wednesday, Irfan was the rider to beat heading into Thursday's races - and that's exactly how it played out. Leading from start to finish, Irfan picked up Race 1 victory but Zaragoza made it hard work for the Malaysian as the duo crossed the finish line 0.1s apart. Starting from P8, Togashi produced a fine comeback ride to pick up a podium in P3.
After being penalised for a technical infringement in qualifying, polesitter Lucas started Race 1 and 2 from P12. In the opening 190cc race of the day, early leader Izan Rodriguez crashed as compatriot Lucas carved his way through the field to take a memorable win. Italy's Lorenzo Pritelli was just 0.1s away from a win in P2 with Ben Wiegner of MiniGP Austria completing the podium.
Less than a second split the top four across the line in the second 160cc race of the day but taking the flag first again was Irfan. Togashi again impressed to claim P2 as British rider Ethan Sparks picked up a hard-earned podium in third.
After crashing in Race 1, Rodriguez bounced back in style to claim an important win in Race 2. Pritelli made it back-to-back second place finishes and was only 0.5s adrift from the winner as Edoardo Savino made it two Italians on the rostrum ahead of the Super Final.
Irfan, starting from pole, knew that a P1 or P2 finish would hand him the 2023 160cc crown. Another pitch-perfect ride to victory unfolded as the #35 fended off the competition to win by 1.2s - a Thursday clean sweep! Togashi battled his way to P2 to hand the Japanese star the runners-up spot in the Championship, and a P3 for Zaragoza made sure the Spaniard took home third place honours.
Having served his qualifying penalty, Lucas started from the front row in P2 sandwiched between polesitter Pritelli and the Italian's teammate Savino. The race winner move came at Turn 1 as Lucas pinched P1 off the Italians with a clever switchback move, as drama unfolded behind. Pritelli crashed - and remounted - on Lap 1 while a few laps later, Rodriguez, 2022 160cc Champion Gabriel Vuono and Wiegner went down together at the final corner. In the end, Lucas dominated the Super Final to win his second race of the day and the title, as Savino and the recovering Pritelli picked up podiums - the latter ending the week as the 190cc runner-up, with Savino taking third overall.
And with that, another FIM MiniGP World Series Final draws to a close. It was another brilliant few days in Valencia as we already look forward to next year's event.