TITLES ON THE LINE: penultimate round of 2023 beckons as JuniorGP™ tackles Aragon

History is on the horizon and the stars of the future are looking for big prizes as we head inland to Alcañiz and MotorLand Aragon, the longest circuit on the calendar

Two rounds remain in what is set to be a stunning closure to the 2023 Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship, with MotorLand Aragon gearing up to host the penultimate round of the season. All four titles are up for grabs across the classes, some more likely than others but nonetheless, round six readies for an action-packed weekend just outside of Alcañiz, Spain. The JuniorGP™ class itself only has one all-important race this weekend, whilst the likes of the Moto2™ European Championship and the European Talent Cup have two each; as always, the Stock European Championship rounds out the billing.

The first match point goes to Angel Piqueras (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) in JuniorGP™, with the Spaniard boasting an impressive 68-pont lead in the title race, although he was unable to wrap the title up in Barcelona last time out. With a commanding lead over Joel Esteban (Aspar Junior Team), the 16-year-old should get it done this weekend, even if he’s not won in the class since Jerez in June. For Esteban, he’s looking at back-to-back podiums for the first time in the class and at a circuit where he took third in ETC last year; to keep the title race alive, he needs at least a top two finish, with Piqueras tenth or lower if Esteban’s a winner, whilst if Esteban is second, Piqueras will need to be 15th or lower. In third and with an outside mathematical chance, Alvaro Carpe (STV Laglisse Racing) is 71 adrift, meaning a win is required combined with bad luck for the #18 of Piqueras.

The same mathematical options remain for Jacob Roulstone (Aspar Junior Team) and Luca Lunetta (AC Racing Team), with a win for either of them needed as well as misfortune for the Championship leader. They’ll be looking at finishing the season strongly and to try and finish inside the top three overall; both likewise chase a first win in the class. Rounding out the top six and with two wins in the last four races, Xabi Zurutuza (MTA Junior Team) is a rider to watch for as he completes the top six in the standings. Other winners to keep an eye on across the weekend from earlier in the year include David Almansa (Finetwork Mir Racing Team), Nico Carraro (Aspar Junior Team) and Indonesian star Arbi Aditama (Astra Honda Racing Team). 

Moving to the Moto2™ ECh and it’s a double-header for them at MotorLand Aragon; Australian Senna Agius (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP Junior Team) missed out on the chance to take the title in Barcelona through injury but he’ll be keen to wrap it up this weekend. He can’t win it in Race 1 as Andorran Xavier Cardelus (Promoracing) is just 20 points back but a double victory for the Australian will secure it, with just one race at the season finale in Valencia. Behind both of those and with a 43-point deficit and thus still in title contention, Alberto Surra (Team Ciatti-Boscoscuro) and Mattia Rato (AGR Team) are level on points and keen to keep their title hopes alive. 

However, one of the biggest title fights that remains up for the taking like many years previous, the ETC welcomes an unpredictable final two rounds. 2021’s Champion Maximo Quiles (Aspar Junior Team) has a slender one-point advantage over Brian Uriarte (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0), with the two class heavyweights from years gone by continuing to write ETC history. With neither taking any points since Jerez for various reasons, they’ll be keen to reassert their authority and put a stop to reigning Champion Guido Pini’s (AC Racing Team) charge. The Italian, who took the crown in the final race of 2022, is nine points adrift in 2023 with three races remaining, meaning he’s right in contention. Dodo Boggio (Aspar Junior Team) and Rico Salmela (Team Estrella Galicia 0,0) are also both close, 29 and 36 points off the top respectively. Aragon’s double header will play a pivotal role in the outcome of the title race. 

Concluding action on Sunday afternoon, the Stock ECh is likely to be decided, with Daniel Muñoz (SP57 Racing Team) sporting a 35-point lead over fellow Spaniard Eric Fernandez (FAU55 TEY Racing). Of the six races in 2023, five have gone the way of Muñoz, being beaten to victory just once by Fernandez back at Jerez. Third place and 49 points behind the #17, Marco Garcia (Easyrace Team) has a mathematical chance of the title but he’ll need two wins from the remaining two rounds and misfortune ahead of him.
The Sunday race schedule for the sixth round of the JuniorGP™ season is as follows: 
11:00 – Moto2™ ECh Race 1: 15 laps
12:00 – ETC Race 1: 13 laps
13:00 – JuniorGP™ Race: 14 laps
14:00 – Moto2™ ECh Race 2: 15 laps
15:00 – ETC Race 2: 13 laps
16:00 – Stock™: 15 laps

You can also find all the results, videos, photos and information regarding the championship on the official website: www.fimjuniorgp.com