June 11, 2019
Moto3 World Junior Championship
With a huge number of Spanish riders in the championship Max was at a big disadvantage going into the weekend having had no experience around the circuit. It is seen as arguably the most challenging on the calendar with a mixture of high and low speed corners and very awkward braking zones which can easily lead to mistakes.
Overall there are fifteen corners around the 4.6km circuit meaning there was a lot to learn in such a short space of time for Max. But there was a clear sign of fast progress for Max on Saturday with the British Talent Team rider who finished 21st in session one before going on to finish eleventh in session two!
But with the combined qualifying format Max would end up 21st on the grid for both races leaving him a lot of work to do to just get into the points. But as the lights went green Max was straight to work in the opening race and began to pick off riders as he moved his way into the top twenty positions.
Having been 1.7 seconds off pole position in qualifying there was a clear sign of further improvement from Max who was almost matching the lap times of the leaders. Max was within half a second of Barry Baltus in second and was matching the likes of Gerard Riu in fourth place.
The afore mentioned pace had brought Max into the battle for fourth place which stretched all the way back to fifteenth! However, after a red flag earlier in the race we had been reduced to ten laps from the original sixteen and it made Max’s task of scoring points even more difficult.
But Max took on that task head on and rode a fantastic race moving up seven positions to thirteenth in just ten laps. He was involved in the battle for the lead along the way in a race that treated the spectators and online viewers. A crash just five laps from the end allowed the top three to escape but the battle for fourth was just as intense and saw Max scoring more points.
Despite all the hard work from race one Max would have to start 21st again for race two. A difficult start saw him drop back to 24th place on the opening lap but it wasn’t long before he was charging through the field.
Max made his way all the way up to ninth and leading the second group with the leaders having broken away from the rest of the field. Having timed his race to perfection it appeared Max had moved his way up to the head of the group on the last lap, but Max missed a gear half way around the final lap which dropped him to thirteenth repeating his result from race one.
Despite the mistake it was smiles all around with Max putting on a brilliant display and Max set his fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:49.940 just half a second off the quickest time. It’s more points for Max after two races without any but it’s a big boost of confidence heading into Aragon.
Max’s next race will be back in the Red Bull Rookies next weekend at Assen, the track where he scored his best finish of the year last season.