FIM CEV Le Mans

Fifth in France for Barry Baltus

The Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team Junior rider fights for the podium until the last lap of the race in France, where Max Kofler has been eleventh

 

The Japanese Yuki Kunii is in top form and has become the first Moto3 Junior World Championship rider to repeat victory this season. Kunii, who started from the pole in the fourth race of the season, has left his rivals behing from the first moment and has ridden alone looking for his second win of the season. Behind, Jeremy Alcoba, José Julián García, Dani Holgado and Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team Junior rider Barry Baltus have spent the seventeen laps of the race fighting for the last two podium positions, which finally have been for Alcoba and García. Baltus has finished fifth after a very hard race, which started with an exceptional comeback from the fifteenth position on the grid to the leading group, and he remains fourth in the overall standings.

The other Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team Junior rider today, Max Kofler, has staged a comeback very similar to that of Baltus, but he has been placed himself since the first laps in a sixth position in between two groups. Although he has not been able to maintain this result until the end, the Austrian rider closes the Le Mans race with his best result of the season, an eleventh position, less than a second and a half off the top 10, which allows him to continue growing.

Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team Junior could not count on Aleix Viu in the French race due to a finger injury. The Spaniard fell in the first qualifying session and did not let go the motorbike to avoid further damage, with the bad luck that he broke his finger in that action. Despite this, he returned to the track and managed to set his fastest time, which put him eighth on the grid, but he could not participate in the second qualifying session. Viu, who won at Le Mans in 2018, has not been able to compete on a track in which he had achieved great results and will seek redress in the next round of the season, which will take place on the weekend of June 9 in Barcelona.

 

5th Barry Baltus: "It was a good race, I started fifteenth and I finished fifth, it's not bad. I completed an incredible start and I was among the best, but afterwards I could not go as fast, I could not pass Alcoba and other riders took me. I had a good rhythm, but in the end my leg hurt after the fall in Jerez. We are still well placed in the championship and ready for the next race."

11th Max Kofler: "I started the race very well, I made a perfect start, and I was able to fight for the front positions, but the rain tire has not held up in good conditions until the end. I could not push more, I lost a few seconds with the first group and, in the end, my rear tire was finished. I'm happy, again we go back to the points. Now I'm looking forward to competing in Barcelona."

Aleix Viu: "I am sad for not having been able to compete in Le Mans, in a circuit where I could have been in the lead and where I already won in 2018. In the first qualifying session I found myself very comfortable on the first start, but when I came back from the pits I made a small mistake, the front closed and I fell. I did not want to let go the bike in order to continue as soon as possible and I broke the middle finger of my left hand. Even so, I was able to return to the pits and after five minutes I went back out on track. I managed to take five more laps and set, with my broken finger, my best time. I could not set a better time because in braking I could not change gears well, but I placed eighth on the grid despite everything. Now it's time to think about the next round, at Montmeló, and to come back stronger to turn this situation around.”