Plenty of Drama as R3 bLU cRU European Championship Enjoys First Races

Plenty of Drama as R3 bLU cRU European Championship Enjoys First Races

The TT Circuit Assen played host to the first round of the 2023 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Championship, and two exciting and dramatic races were put on by the 19 young riders contesting the event. Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani was the winner of Race 1, and Race 2’s victor was Brazil’s Gustavo Manso.
Sunny skies and pleasant temperatures greeted the R3 paddock on Saturday morning for the opening race and the riders prepared for battle at the technical Dutch track.
Bad luck hit Colombia’s Jeronimo Gonzalez when he went down on the warm-up lap and was unable to start, and Brazil’s Gustavo Manso was also forced to miss the first race due to extended medical checks following a crash on Friday.
The rest of the field got away cleanly as the lights went out and it was pole-sitter Aldi Satya Mahendra who made the initial break away, with a group of five riders chasing closely behind him.
Once the pack closed up further, no fewer than four riders had a go at leading.
But it was Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani, last year’s SuperFinale winner, who consistently made his way back to the front, he stayed calm and smooth to take the first victory of the season by just 0.039 seconds.
Spain’s Marc Vich finished second, and Brazil’s Kevin Fontainha took third.
The start of the second race was tense as clouds closed in and light rain fell around the circuit, an initial race start was quickly red flagged as the precipitation increased.
At the restart, Mahendra once again got the best launch, but a huge group of riders were fighting it out for top spot – providing some thrilling action for the watching crowds.
Several changes of the lead were carried out over the 10-lap race, with Brazil’s riders looking increasingly strong.
Thailand’s Krittapat Keankum crossed the line in first position but was later demoted to seventh due to a track limits penalty.
The win eventually went to Manso, with his compatriots Eduardo Burr and Fontainha in second and third.
The R3 bLU cRU riders will be on track again on May 5th and 6th for Round 2 in Barcelona.

Emiliano Ercolani – Race 1 Winner & Championship Leader
“I’m very happy! In the race I tried to go fast to increase my gap at the front, but it was very hard to get away from the group. Instead, I decided to try and do the best last lap that I could, staying clean with my lines and not making any mistakes. This strategy worked and I’m very pleased to get the first win of the R3 season..”

Gustavo Manso – Race 2 Winner
“It’s been a very difficult weekend because I had to start race two in last position due to missing race one with my medical checks. It was a hard race with many fast riders, and I tried to stay focused. In the end several riders received penalties for exceeding track limits on the last lap, and it meant I was able to win. It’s a great way to start my season”.

Yamaha Racing

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