Max Cook ends 2018 season with return to European Talent Cup

November 26, 2018

Just one week on from his brilliant weekend at the British Talent Cup season finale, which saw Max seal 3rd in the championship, he would be straight back to the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia for the European Talent Cup final round.

Having raced in the championship before as a wildcard this wouldn’t be a new experience for Max but it would be a tough task given his lack of time in the championship. All that aside Max would be riding for the Wilson Racing team alongside Jack Hart and Scott Ogden. Racing against a Spanish filled grid it was always going to be a tough task but it would all be great preparation for the 2019 season which will see Max return to the Red Bull Rookies.

In a field of over 50 riders the format is slightly different to something like BritishTalent Cup or Red Bull Rookies. The grid is split into two groups and each group takes part in two qualifying sessions before the times are combined. The first session did not go to plan for Max as he finished in 14th place over two seconds away from pole position. But a big improvement before the second session would see him pick up 7th place reducing the gap to just 1.4 seconds.

The unfortunate process of the series would mean that Max would have to start the race from the ninth row of the grid. That had put him in a very tough place for the race and considering he was as quick as the riders on the fourth row it was a very frustrating situation.

Not only that but being on a standard bike in comparison to the performance of some of the other bikes around him would make Max’s task of moving forward, on a track that is so fast and flowing in places, very tricky. But Max would put that to one side and went out and put in the best performance he could.

In a field of over 40 riders Max was able to make his way through to 21st after just five laps, but it was at that point that the red flags were put out. The race would come to a brief stop before race control would send the riders out for a five-lap shootout. As expected those five laps were hectic with Max involved in a fierce battle for 14th place which stretched all the way back to 24th.

Max was in a fight with Joshua Whatley for not only 20th place but also the space for top Brit in a Spanish filled grid, but at the end of the race he would walk away with 21st place. It was far from the result Max wanted given his performances in qualifying, but his time of a 1:45.459 was an impressive lap and just two tenths off the race winner.

It begs the question if he’d started higher up the grid where would he have finished or if he’d been on a faster bike. But it was nevertheless a positive end to the 2018 season for Max and his full focus will now shift to the 2019 Red Bull Rookies championship.


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