Max Cook scores more points despite mixed fortunes in Valencia

May 1, 2019

British Talent Cup

Round two of the Moto3 Junior World Championship provided conflicting fortunes for Junior Talent Team rider Max Cook. After scoring points at round one with thirteenth place Max had high hopes of improving on that result at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, but he was put on the back foot right from the start giving him a lot of work to do in both of Sunday’s races. Despite that Max would score points in race one, but race two would see any chances of that happening again put to an abrupt end. 

On arrival to Valencia Max’s goals for the upcoming two races were to score points and make progress on what was a positive round one. Top ten finishes in the two races was what Max and the team were pushing for.

However, chances of that happening were quickly put under threat after Max was taught some tough lessons in qualifying. Going into the session Max and team had changed some things to the bike in an attempt to go faster, but Max was never quite able to get a clean lap in which heavily affected his overall position. If he wasn’t held up he had made a slight mistake which left him back in 22nd on the grid for both races on Sunday.

One thing Max learnt was how the very hot Spain conditions affects the track across two qualifying sessions. In a normal situation the second session would be quicker, but in this instance it was the first with the exceeding track temperature reducing grip levels. Max was not aware of this beforehand and believed he could make big improvements in session two but that would not be the case making it all a valuable learning experience for Max.

Although an unsatisfactory result, Max had proved at Estoril he has absolutely no problems coming through the Moto3 field and he would have to use those skills once again here.

Staying out of trouble at the start, Max had stayed roughly where he started by the completion of lap one before getting on the move on lap two. Progress was halted before it had even properly started when Max dropped to 25th on lap four making those top fifteen and points paying positons seem a long way down the road. 

But Max refused to go down without a fight and got his head down pulling off some great moves to get up to 20th position in just three laps! Points wise the tables now seemed to have turned with over half the race remaining. With the race now settling down Max’s next turn of events didn’t come until lap ten where he moved up to seventeenth following that up with another gain of position a lap later! Championship points now lay just ahead.

As the race reached the business end Max found himself under pressure after dropping to eighteenth place, but in proper Max Cook style he got his elbows out pulling off three moves in as many laps to move up to fifteenth place and take the last point available on the last lap! It was a hard-fought race and with a smoother run throughout there’s no doubt Max could have scored even more. 

For race two that was exactly the goal and off the line Max made a great start gaining some positions through the first sector. With the field packed together in typical Moto3 fashion there looked to be an exciting race ahead for Max, but coming around turn eleven as two riders collided ahead Max found himself with nowhere to go and was caught up in all the chaos seeing him down on the deck and in the gravel. 

Despite Max’s desperate attempts to re-join, the race would be over for him leaving him left at the side of the circuit having to watch his fellow competitors instead. With the pace he showed in race one there was every chance he could have been in a fight for a top ten finish, but it was sadly not meant to be and Max will have to take the positives away from the weekend and into round three at Le Mans

Max Cook: “I’ve come away from Valencia feeling positive with so much learnt over the weekend. I went faster almost every time I rode the bike and I feel I've made a big step forward with my riding style and how to ride the HRC Moto3. I had a bit of bad luck during qualifying as I was held up during every fast lap which was frustrating. However, during race one I did the best I could and I was happy with my recovery ride and getting a point.” 
“The second race was annoying as I made up around seven places during the start and with my race pace I felt like I had a great chance to move through the field, but I got caught up in someone else’s crash on the first lap which put me in the gravel. The team have been amazing and I can’t wait for the next round. I’m also looking forward to this weekend as I’ll be back with the Red Bull Rookies Team for the first round at Jerez.” 

There will be no rest for Max who will get his Red Bull Rookies season started this weekend at Jerez. It’s going to be a huge spectacle with the championship supporting MotoGP. Big crowds are expected with the Red Bull Rookies set to put on an exciting show.