Matsuyama and Van Eerde boast best-ever qualifying results at Portimao
FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship rookie Takuma Matsuyama spearheads the Junior Talent Team riders at Round 2 of the FIM CEV Repsol season at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve. The Japanese rider will launch from P10 on Monday afternoon, a career-best for the 15-year-old in just his second race at this level as he ended qualifying only 0.6 seconds from pole position.
It was another scorching day in the Algarve but battling the heat well and sitting just one place behind Matsuyama on Row 4 is Bill Van Eerde, who also celebrates his best Junior World Championship qualifying position. After a DNF in Estoril last time out, Van Eerde has his eyes firmly set on a top 10 finish in Portimao and will be hoping to turn his best qualifying result into his best race result when the lights go out on Monday.
Scott Ogden is the next Junior Talent Team rider on the grid, the reigning British Talent Cup Champion will also start from his highest Junior World Championship grid slot. His P16 is one better than he went in Estoril and having looked in great form – along with the rest of his Junior Talent Team teammates – in Portimao, Ogden will doubt be fighting for his maiden points haul, speared on by his unfortunate crash at Round 1. Sitting next to his compatriot on the start line will be Max Cook. The British rider had to settle for P17 in qualifying, but after claiming a phenomenal 7th place at Estoril just five days ago, Cook is brimming with confidence and will be looking to make up places from the get-go at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve.
Unfortunately, Tatchakorn Buasri and Mario Aji are still absent from the Junior Talent Team ranks due to travel complications caused by Covid-19. However, the duo will be cheering their four teammates on from Thailand and Indonesia respectively.
Three career-best qualifying results means Sunday was a very positive day for the Junior Talent Team in Portimao. It’s now time to do the business on Monday as Matsuyama, Van Eerde, Ogden and Cook all set their sights on large points hauls. Tune in for the Moto3™ race at 13:00 local time (GMT+1) in Portugal.