Junior Talent Team eager to get back on track
After a long delay to the start of the season obliged by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 FIM CEV Repsol calendar was recently announced and we’re now closer than ever to getting back on track. Starting with a double bill in Portugal, it’s the Circuito do Estoril first from the 4th to the 7th of July, before the second round gears up at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portimão from the 10th to the 13th. But just before that, the Junior Talent Team are taking part in two days of testing at Estoril to get back in gear.
This year, the JTT will be a six-strong line-up of both returning riders and rookies from the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup and British Talent Cup, all ready to do battle in the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship. Returning rider Mario Aji of Indonesia and Thai rider Tatchakorn Buasri will not be taking part in the test, however, with travel limitations due to the Covid-19 pandemic meaning they have been unable to get to Europe for the event.
Nevertheless, with plenty to both learn and prove, it should be an exciting season ahead – for those with a little more experience and those about to get their first taste of the Championship. JTT sophomores Max Cook (British Talent Team) and Bill Van Eerde (Asia Talent Team) will be looking to kick their second seasons up a gear with similar goals – moving forward, improving, and showing their experience, and will also expect to be the pacesetters in testing. It will be interesting to see how the Brit and Australian compare to both each other and the newer faces on the team.
Brit Scott Ogden – another competing in British Talent Team colours – has lined up for the team already as he did some replacement rides in 2019, but this time it’s permanent and the BTC Champion will be eager to more than pick up where he left off. Meanwhile Japanese rider Takuma Matsuyama will likely have the Brit in his sights as his first target too, as they all take to the track together for the first time. And that’s on top of adapting to the machinery and to the track…
Cook and Van Eerde have raced at Estoril in the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship before, but it will be a new experience for the rookies. That makes the two day test valuable on a number of levels, and after such a long break from racing each and every rider will be eager to make the most of it before competition begins. Who will get back up to speed or adapt the quickest? Who can lay the best foundations for the racing year ahead? We’ll get our first glimpse at Estoril on the 1st and 2nd of July.