CEV Repsol, Albacete, Qualifying roundup: Raffin to face two decisive races in fight for Moto2™ title
Sunday’s FIM CEV Repsol round looks like being decisive with Jesko Raffin (Swiss Innovative Investors Junior) poised to take the Moto2™ European Championship title against poleman Edgar Pons (AGR Team). Raúl Fernández (Angel Nieto Team) in Moto3™ and Alex Millán (Aro Racing) in the European Talent Cup will head off their respective races in this penultimate round of the championship at the Circuit de Albacete this weekend.
Moto3™ leader Raúl Fernández will start from pole for the first time this season to try to clinch the title after posting the best lap time of the day – a record of 1:33.843 – and was the only rider to lap below 1:34. Teammates Jeremy Alcoba and Sergio García (Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0.0), complete the first row of the grid.
Manuel Pagliani (Leopard Junior), second in the general standings 32 points behind Raúl Fernández, will start back in tenth position, on the fourth row of the grid, and will have a lot to make up to avoid the leader’s victory. Although there are still 75 points at stake, Raúl Fernández could be crowned champion of the Moto3™ Junior World Championship in Albacete if he manages to increase his advantage to 51 points, that is, take 19 points more than his closest rival – a difficult but not impossible task.
In Moto2™, Edgar Pons dominated his rivals in the two qualifying sessions, posting an unmatched time of 1:31.945 in the morning session. The AGR Team rider will lead the grid for the third time in a row, this time accompanied by by Héctor Garzó (Team Wimu CNS) and Jesko Raffin. Raffin only needs four points more than the poleman in the first of Sunday’s two races to take the Moto2™ ECh title for the second time. If he doesn’t make it in the first race, he could still become champion in the second race of the day. In Superstock 600 Alejandro Ruiz (Reale Avintia Academy) was the quickest rider.
Alex Millán (Aro Racing) took his first pole in the ETC with the fastest time of 1:37.044 achieved in the morning session. Interestingly, in the six rounds of this category this season no rider has been poleman twice. Next to him will start Xavier Artigas (Honda Impala) and José Antonio Rueda (Talent Team Estrella Galicia 0.0). The Honda Impala rider also has a chance to take the ETC title in Albacete as he leads the category with a 21-point advantage over Víctor Rodríguez (Ikono Motorbike Laglisse), who will set off fifth, with 50 points still in play. Xavier Artigas will be champion if he wins the race – which would be his first victory of the season – regardless of the result of his rivals, though in fact six riders are currently still in the running for the title.
The program for this weekend in Albacete is two races in the Moto2™ category and one each in Moto3™ and the ETC.
Sunday’s race schedule is as follows (local time):
Moto2™ Race 1 (20 laps): 11.00
ETC (18 laps): 12.00
Moto3™ (19 laps): 13.00
Moto2™ Race 2 (20 laps): 14.00
Cuna de Campeones (11 laps): 15.00
Dani Rivas Cup (8 laps): 15.45
As usual, entrance to the paddock will be free over the weekend. In addition, FIM CEV Repsol fans who go to the circuit on Sunday morning will be able to take part in the Pit Lane Walk. Passes will be available at he main entrance to the paddock from 9.00, but only the first comers will get a pass, with a maximum of two passes per person. The Pit Lane Walk will take place at 10.15 am and start from the outside of the control tower.
The FIM CEV Repsol’s TV presence continues to grow in both Europe and the rest of the world. In Spain, Movistar MotoGP broadcasts live all of the scheduled races of the Moto3™ JWCh, Moto2™ ECh and ETC, as does BT Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In Italy, Sky will broadcast live the Moto3™ JWCh and Moto2™ ECh races.
Eurosport, through Eurosportplayer (France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Romania), will also offer live coverage of all of the Moto3™ JWCh and Moto2™ ECh and ETC races. In Portugal, Sport TV consolidates its commitment to motorcycling by broadcasting live or recorded versions of all the races scheduled throughout the season. For the first time Hungarian fans will be able to enjoy the ETC thanks to recorded broadcasts on the Spiler TV channel.
Fans in Latin America, the United States, Canada and France will be able to watch recorded versions of all the races through Motosport TV, while their OTT will broadcast the races live. Band Sports television extends its coverage of the FIM CEV Repsol by showing recorded versions of the Moto3™ JWCh and Moto2™ ECh. Also joining TV coverage of the championship, the Edgesport Channel will air live all the Moto3™ JWC and Moto2™ ECh and ETC races, as well as being available 24/7 on various platforms with coverage in Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Solomon Island, Thailand and Vietnam.
In addition, in those countries without television coverage, all races will be broadcast live on the championship’s Youtube channel.