Copyright: Pedro Vallespi
American Kristian Daniel Scores Top 10 in his First-ever Moto5 Race in Campillos track.
July 18th and 19th- Kartcenter Campillos, Malaga, Spain
Eleven-year-old American roadracer, Kristian Daniel Jr. took a promising tenth place in Race2 of the ultra-competitive Cuna de Campeones Moto5 at Kartcenter Campillos, Malaga, in southern Spain. After missing the first round in Portugal, Kristian had to make up for lost time riding a brand new MIR racing 250cc Moto5, the official bike of the series for ten and eleven-year-old participants. Heading into the race weekend, Kristian had very few laps on the motorcycle (thanks to COVID), so he had a lot of work cut out for him. By the end of Saturday qualifying, he had improved his lap times by three seconds and battled his way from the back of the grid to 14th in the 24-bike field.
KDJR was a regular podium finisher in the previous class, his goal for this race was finishing in the top 10.
Saturday, four practice sessions were held, followed by one qualifying in the afternoon. KDJR's team, and he spent the 4 practice sessions getting the bike set up correctly and working out a few technical difficulties. Based on KDJR's lap times, it was looking like he would line up at the back of the pack. During the lunch break, between the practices and qualifying, the team hustled and was able to find a few key setting changes that gave KDJR the confidence he needed. During the 12-minute qualifying, KDJR was able to go three seconds faster than he had in the practice sessions, and was dropping time every lap. He finished the first qualifying session in 14th out of 25.
Sunday morning, the second Qualifying was held at 10 AM. Although the temperatures were different, KDJR was able to pick up where he left off and continued to drop time. In the second qualifying, he went half of a second faster than the day before, but so did the rest of the grid, so he finished again in 14th.
Next race and season:
The next race of the seven-event season will be at Zuera in Aragon, Spain.
Copyright: Pedro Vallespi
KDJR entered the first race both nervous and confident, as he knew he had pace to ride with the top 10 riders, but this was the first start with the new bike. On the first lap, KDJR was able to make up 2 positions, moving from 14th to 12th. In the 2nd lap, he moved up another 2 positions into 10th. By lap 5, he was in 9th and making an ambitious pass into 8th when he lost the front and crashed. He rejoined, and finished the race in 15th.
KDJR had another great start in race 2, moving up two positions again in the first lap. He was locked in a 6 rider battle for the top 10 spots. By lap three, he had once again moved into 10th position. On lap 5, he made a daring pass into 9th that he made stick and began to chase down the 8th place rider. On lap 5, attempted another ambitious pass into a corkscrew style chicane but he made contact with another rider, pushing KDJR back to 11th place. He was able to move back into 10th by lap 7 and finished the race in 10th place.