Season best results for Wilford and Cook at Aragon

October 6, 2020

CEV European Moto2 Championship

After a five week break Sam Wilford and Max Cook finally returned to action with the CEV Championships as they headed to the longest circuit on the calendar in the shape of Aragon. Sitting at 5km in length the Aragon circuit always provides great racing with its fast sweeping corners and long straights. For Sam and Max their biggest challenge would be competing against the huge number of Spanish riders in their grids who have been racing on the track since their pre-teens.

A new beginning for Wilford

The first chapter in Sam’s new journey with the AGR Team saw him get off to a fantastic start scoring his best results in the Moto2 European Championship to date. Coming into rounds five and six at Aragon, Sam’s best result was 10th place and after a difficult last round he was keen to get himself into the top ten.

After making some good progress during free practice on Friday, Sam put himself 13th on the grid for Saturday’s race. Sitting just a few positions back from his new teammate Taiga Hada was a positive sign with Sam’s pace getting better in every session. Heading into the race Sam would make further progress moving himself up to 11th place missing out on a top ten finish by 0.2 seconds at the line!

It was a great start under his new team and things continued to improve as we moved into Sunday. Clearly growing in confidence Sam found 0.7 seconds during race one on Saturday and that pace would help him fight his way through to an impressive 8th place!

It was Sam’s best result in the championship to date and as the only British rider to do it in unfamiliar territory made it even more impressive. With race two came another 0.2 seconds in pace as Sam continued to find time around the extensive Aragon circuit. The final race would see Sam involved in an exciting four way battle involving Grand Prix riders in the form of Adam Norrodin and Mattia Rato. But Sam would beat them all to the line to score a personal best result for the second time of the weekend with 7th place.

A brilliant result which sees Sam 12th in the championship going into the final round.

Cook back with a bang

After a nasty crash at Jerez last time out which saw Max breaking his pelvis there were question marks over whether he would be able to race at Aragon. The recovery period between the two races was just a few weeks and with the current pandemic recovery routines were going to be more difficult than usual.

With the incident forcing Max to retire from all three races at Jerez he knew he had ground to make up and after weeks of tireless work Max would just be cleared in time to jump on the bike at Aragon. Clearly undeterred from what happened Max came out in first practice to finish 13th in a Moto3 World Junior Championship grid of 36 riders. A number of which were Spanish!

With every lap Max’s confidence continued to grow and in his first wet laps on track he would qualify an incredible 5th place! That included Max beating championship leader Xavier Artigas, a brilliant achievement with the Grand Prix paddock no doubt keeping a close eye on proceedings.

Max would prove that result was no fluke as conditions went dry for Saturday’s race, the Junior Talent Team would be a huge presence in the battle for the lead from the green flag to the chequered. In what was yet another brilliant race Max fought for the win all the way until the final lap eventually stealing 5th in a drag race to the line. The result would be Max’s best ever in the championship and proved he is made of some pretty tough stuff to do it after having a broken pelvis just a few weeks earlier.

Max would continue to fly the British flag proudly on Sunday albeit in much more relaxed races. Max would find himself getting caught between the lead and chasing pack in both which is always a tough place to be around Aragon. With the tow so vital once caught in no man’s land your race is essentially over and that would leave Max having to settle for 11th in both races.

Overall a brilliant result and despite no finishes at Jerez, Max is 11th in the championship going into the final round just five points back from 10th.