Strong start into new season for Intact GP Juniors
The German racing team LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP is once again entering four promising talents in what is probably the most important junior series in motorcycle racing. At the season opener in Estoril, Senna Agius shone with pole position and two race wins, whilst Jakob Rosenthaler caused a big surprise by finishing third in Sunday’s Moto3 race.
Round one of the 2023 FIM JuniorGP™ series took place this weekend at the Circuito do Estoril not far from the Portuguese capital Lisbon. For many, the circuit near the Atlantic coast is familiar territory, as the junior championship has been returning there for some time again. In addition, an official test was held there a week and a half ago as the conclusion of preparations for the 2023 season.
At LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP, working with young talents has always been a high priority and is pursued with great commitment. For this reason, the effort has been further increased for the new season. Jakob Rosenthaler, Leo Rammerstorfer (both JuniorGP™ Moto3™), Senna Agius (Moto2™ European Championship) and Mohammed Abdalaziz Binladin (European Talent Cup) will fight for points and success in the team’s new colours of the squad from Memmingen in the Allgäu region. While the two Upper Austrian riders Rosenthaler and Rammerstorfer were already part of the team last year, Australian Senna Agius and Abdalaziz Binladin from Saudi Arabia were newly added this winter. Incidentally, Senna Agius was Lukas Tulovic's fiercest opponent in the battle for the 2022 Moto2 European Championship title.
For the 2023 season, there are not only some changes from the teams' point of view with a new design, but also massive changes for Saturday and Sunday as far as the timetable is concerned. All classes are affected by the cancellation of Sunday morning’s Warm Up. Instead, the "Last Chance Race" in European Talent Cup will be moved from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. For the juniors in the highly competitive Moto3 category, however, there are further changes on Saturday with a new mode for determining the starting grid. The qualifying format has been adapted to be the same as in grand prix racing, with a Q1 and a Q2. Who goes straight to Q2 will be determined in a 40-minute qualifying session in the morning, plus the top four from Q1. For Moto2 and the European Talent Cup, on the other hand, everything remains the same: after two 40-minute qualifying sessions, a combined timesheet is used as a ranking for the starting grid. New to the JuniorGP series will be a European Stock Championship.
The first pole position of the year in the Moto2 European Championship was secured by Senna Agius. Jakob Rosenthaler advanced to Q2 via Q1, where he started from 17th spot on the grid, while team mate Leo Rammerstorfer started from the seventh row on Sunday in 20th place. ETC rider Mohammed Abdalaziz Binladen had to start in the "Last Chance Race" on Sunday morning.
Australian Senna Agius, just 17 years, dominated action in the Moto2 class at will, capping an extremely successful weekend with two wins on Sunday. In the only race of JuniorGP™ class, Jakob Rosenthaler experienced his biggest day in his career so far. Starting the race from the sixth row of the grid, the Upper Austrian rider pulled out all the stops of his skills and fought his way up to the top-10 within a very short time before the race was red-flagged. After a long interruption, Rosenthaler came off the line just as strongly at the restart and even fought for victory in this short sprint for five laps. Instead of the supposed fourth place, Rosenthaler was able to enjoy third place due to a correction of the race result. Team mate and compatriot Leo Rammerstorfer also gave a decent demonstration of his talent with 16th place.
The next event will take place in two weeks at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
#JuniorGP Estoril – Moto3™ Qualiying Results:
1 Luca LUNETTA / ITA / KTM / 1´44.340
2 Alessandro MOROSI / ITA / KTM / 1´44.363 +0.023
3 Nico CARRARO / ITA / GASGAS / 1´44.419 +0.079
17 #78 Jakob ROSENTHALER / AUT / Husqvarna / 1´45.995 +1.655
20 #50 Leo RAMMERSTORFER / AUT / Husqvarna / 1´46.410 (Q1)
#JuniorGP Estoril - Moto3™ Race (5 Laps):
1 Nico CARRARO / ITA / GASGAS / 8´52.648
2 Ángel PIQUERAS / SPA / Honda / +0.002
3 #78 Jakob ROSENTHALER / AUT / Husqvarna / +0.275
16 #50 Leo RAMMERSTORFER / AUT / Husqvarna / +4.391
FIM JuniorGP™ World Championship:
1 Nico CARRARO / ITA / GASGAS / 25
2 Ángel PIQUERAS / SPA / Honda / 20
3 #78 Jakob ROSENTHALER / AUT / Husqvarna / 16
16 #50 Leo RAMMERSTORFER / AUT / Husqvarna / 0
#JuniorGP Estoril - Moto2™ Combined Qualifying Times (QP1/QP2):
1 #81 Senna AGIUS / AUS / KALEX / 1´39.366 (QP1)
2 Carlos TATAY / SPA / KALEX / 1´39.646 +0.280 (QP1)
3 Niccolo ANTONELLI / ITA / KALEX / 1´39.883 +0.517 (QP2)
#JuniorGP Estoril - Moto2™ Race 1 (11 Laps):
1 #81 Senna AGIUS / AUS / KALEX / 18´24.301
2 Carlos TATAY / SPA / KALEX / +7.263
3 Harrison VOIGHT / AUS / KALEX / +7.785
#JuniorGP Estoril - Moto2™ Race 2 (17 Laps):
1 #81 Senna AGIUS / AUS / KALEX / 28´23.440
2 Xavier CARDELUS / AND / KALEX / +4.604
3 Niccolo ANTONELLI / ITA / KALEX / +4.914
FIM Moto2™ European Championship:
1 #81 Senna AGIUS / AUS / KALEX / 50
2 Niccolo ANTONELLI / ITA / KALEX / 24
3 Mattia RATO / SPA / KALEX / 24
#JuniorGP Estoril - ETC Combined Qualifying Times Gr B (QP1/QP2):
1 Brian URIARTE / SPA / Honda / 1´46.107 (QP2)
2 Rico SALMELA / FIN / Honda / 1´43.312 +0.205 (QP2)
3 Giulio PUGLIESE / ITA / AHonda / 1´46.735 +0.628 (QP2)
22 #88 Mohammed ABDALAZIZ / SAU / 1´49.697 +3.590 (QP2)
#JuniorGP Estoril - ETC Last Chance Race (7 Laps):
1 Enzo BELLON / FRA / Honda / 12´48.936
2 Marc AGUILAR / SPA / Honda / +0.008
3 Matteo ROMAN / FRA / JHonda / +0.034
11 #88 Mohammed ABDALAZIZ / SAU / +8.763