July 14, 2020
CEV European Moto2 Championship
In just two races of the Moto3 Junior World Championship, Max has already broken two records after scoring a personal best result at Estoril before setting a new lap record at Algarve a week later. A record that had been held by MotoGP podium finisher Fabio Quartararo since 2014! After two 7th place finishes Max now sits 7th in the standings and has already scored more points than he did last season.
It may have been a long off season, but Max has clearly used the extra time riders have been given to good effect. From the first practice session at Estoril Max was showing top ten pace and he got his season off to a positive start qualifying 12th place for the opening race just 0.480 seconds behind the polesitter.
However, Max would immediately be put on the back foot after dropping to 19th at the opening corner. A determined Max did not let this ruin his race and he immediately got his head down and began to pick his way through the pack setting the fastest lap in the process. With just over ten laps to go Max was 8th with a few seconds to the leading pack. For many that would be race done, but for Max it was just getting started as he closed the gap to the leaders all by himself, something which motorcycle fans will know is extremely hard to do in the Moto3 class.
Once there, Max would climb up to 7th and played his part in an enthralling fight for the lead, but with the life taken out of his tyres from the earlier phase the Brit would have to settle for 7th crossing the line just 1.7 seconds behind the race winner. It was Max’s first top ten finish in the championship and a brilliant start to the season.
Round two at Algvare would throw up a similar situation with Max down in 17th in qualifying after being unable to pull out a clean lap. However, another string of fantastic overtakes would see Max in the exact same situation in the race as with ten laps to go he found himself in 7th with a gap to the lead group.
Max once again started setting fastest laps and would go on to set a lap record previously held by MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo. Although Max would climb to as high as 5th, tyre wear would once again force him to settle for 7th.
After two rounds Max now sits 7th in the championship and with better qualifying results, has proven he has the pace to take race wins this season.
For Sam Wilford, it has also been a season of firsts as he scored his first top ten finish in the Moto2 European Championship to go in to the season break 13th in the standings just four points away from the top ten.
Sam got the season off to a solid start finishing 12th in the opening race with top ten pace. Although not quite able to get there on this occasion Sam would stay consistent picking up a good haul of points to take away with him from round one.
Sam has been particularly restricted when it comes to testing on European circuits and the same cannot be said more the majority of the field which made two 12th place finishes even more impressive.
Going into round two Sam was pushing for his first top ten finish in the championship. Despite a slightly difficult qualifying Sam would get that first top ten in race one with a 10th place finish. A brilliant result made even better with Sam closing the gap to the leaders in terms of pace.
Sam would end the weekend with an 11th in race two to make it his best weekend in the championship and close the gap to the top ten in the standings. With one of Sam’s favourite circuits up next in the calendar in Jerez, he will be looking to continue his improvements when racing resumes next month.