Copyright: Pedro Vallespi
American Kristian Daniel scored his first podium in the very competitive national Moto5 series.
Saturday, September 5th - Circuit DR7 in Tarancon, Cuenca, Spain
Eleven-year-old Kristian Daniel Jr participated in the 3rd round of the Cuna de Campeones Moto 5 (250cc) Championship, being held at Circuit DR7 and scored his first podium in Race 1 of the double-headed round. He then backed that up with a fifth in Race 2 and under difficult track conditions.
Having only one race under his belt with the new Moto 5 motorcycle, and some quality training since then, KDJR went into the weekend with renewed confidence. Based on the progress of the previous round, the goal for the weekend was a top 5 finish (out of 18 riders) on the very technical DR7 Circuit, with fifteen corners to navigate in just over 1100 meters in addition to some big elevation changes.
On Saturday, there were five practice sessions. KDJR and team spent the day working out the best gearing and suspension set up. As the temperatures kept rising, the grip levels started to decline, but KDJR pushed through and finished the day within 1.3 seconds of the unofficial top lap time.
Sunday, there were two qualifying sessions and two races to be held. The qualifying times were all very tight, with the top fourteen riders separated by a single second. KDJR was hovering around 6th and 7th during the second qualifying, looking like he could crack the top five but, due to a shifter issue, he ended up qualifying in 8th. The team corrected the shifter and prepared the bike for Race 1.
Next race and season:
The next race of the seven-event season will be at Motorland Race Track, Aragón, Spain.
Copyright: Pedro Vallespi
Going into the first race on such a physically and mentally demanding track, KDJR's nerves were on edge. He had a great start, moving up to seventh into the first corner. Two riders in the leading group crashed out, putting KDJR in 5th by the end of the first lap. Two more riders dropped out on lap 6 due to technical issues, moving him up to third. The remaining 8 laps were pure management, as more riders crashed and KDJR realized the conditions were trickier than they had seemed. He was able to finish in third behind winner José Durán and second-place finisher Miguel Rodríguez Méndez.
Going into Race 2, he had more confidence, but was just as nervous because the temperature had increased quite a bit. KDJR had another great start, again going up into 7th place by the first corner. The first three riders, Carlos Cano, Adrian Covarrubius and Kerman Martinez, pulled a gap but KDJR lost time trying to fight his way out of the second group. On lap six, the lead group lost a rider due to a technical issue, moving KDJR up to sixth and then on lap 10, KDJR made a pass on José Durán going through a chicane and pushing to close on the fourth-place rider Miguel Rodríguez Méndez but had to settle for in fifth, three tenths off of fourth place. So KDJR and team were happy as the objective was achieved…not just two strong finishes but no crashes on a hot and difficult surface.