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 Thomas Edward 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: (local time)
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
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