Barcelona bound: JuniorGP™ back in action for Round 3!

After a weekend full of firsts in Estoril, what lies ahead at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?

Mixed weather conditions certainly played a key role in Estoril as our first stop of the year in Portugal treated us to some great racing and first-time winners in every class. Now, we’re Barcelona bound for Round 3 of the year where another 2024 chapter will be written.

FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship:

On a tricky Portuguese surface, Rico Salmela (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP Junior Team) put his double Misano DNF to bed by claiming a fantastic debut victory. The Finn eventually beat Marcos Uriarte (CFMOTO Aspar Junior Team) by 2.5s as the Spaniard pipped polesitter Cormac Buchanan (AGR Team) to P2 for his second podium of the year. A P3 for Buchanan was his second rostrum of the season too following his Misano third place.

Casey James O’Gorman (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) crashed out of P2 on the penultimate lap and will be seeking to make amends in Barcelona, with Championship leader Jesus Rios (MRE Talent) also out to bounce back after a disappointing Sunday in Estoril. 10 points splits the top quartet in the standings after a dramatic Estoril showing, with Uriarte just four adrift of Rios.

Moto2™ European Championship:

Mattia Casadei (Team Ciatti – Boscoscuro) heads to the Catalan capital as the new Moto2™ title chase leader after his dominant Race 1 win in Estoril. Casadei backed his first win in the class up with a P2 finish in Race 2, as we witnessed a stunning comeback from Roberto Garcia (Fantic Cardoso Racing). Starting P15, the latter carved his way through the pack to pick up a sensational debut win, as just three points splits the two recent race winners in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Jorge Navarro (Forward EEST Racing), Taiga Hada (GAS UP Racing Team), and Alberto Ferrandez (Finetwork Team) walked away from Portugal with podium finishes, but Misano winner Alberto Surra (Team Ciatti – Boscoscuro) scored just 13 points after the Italian crashed out of Race 2. The former Championship leader will be aiming to respond well in Barcelona.

European Talent Cup:

In the European Talent Cup, Estoril was all about one rider: Carlos Cano (SeventyTwo Motorsports ARTBOX). Victory by 5.9s over Marco Morelli (MLav Racing) came in a damp Race 1 before the young Spaniard won a Race 2 belter in the dry, as 0.9s covered the top 10 over the line.

Cano’s double win means he arrives in Barcelona five points ahead of Morelli, after the Argentinian crashed out of the lead group in Race 2.  Jesus Torres (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Valentin Perrone (Frando Racing VHC Team) climbed onto the podium in the afternoon outing, while Fernando Bujosa (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) joined Cano and Morelli on the Race 1 rostrum. Who will make it onto the box at Round 3?

Stock European Championship:

AF Racing’s Adrian Rodriguez won a great Stock race in Estoril, as the podium fight went down to the wire. Iker Garcia (Yamaha GV Racing) and Francisco Ruiz (DR Andifer Team) bagged podiums, just over a second behind Rodriguez, but it’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Yamaha GV Racing) who still leads the Championship ahead of Round 3 after the Italian collected a decent 13-point haul.