The Ricardo Tormo Circuit was the scene of the third round of the Spanish Superbike Championship. The grandstands at the finish line of the Valencian track were filled with fans from the area and from other cities in the country who didn’t want to miss the ESBK show.
Timed qualifying and the first races of the weekend took place yesterday, with victories by Ivo Lopes, Simon Jespersen, José Luis Pérez, Carlos Cano, David Gómez and Beatriz Neila, the latter in the Women’s Cup.
Odendaal wins in SBK but Lopes is the new leader
Ivo Lopes dominated the first laps of the top category of the event but, from behind, a Steven Odendaal arrived who seemed to have more pace ready to take that position away from him and take a victory that had escaped him yesterday. The South African made it and started aiming to be the best in Valencia and become a protagonist. Lopes was second with Román Ramos and Naomichi Uramoto behind.
The Japanese passed Román and Ivo went wide, losing two positions. In the final laps Lopes, who wanted to get on the podium, overtook Ramos closing the top three. Thus won Steven Odendaal, second Naomichi Uramoto and third Ivo Lopes as the new leader of SBK and holder of the Peris Leader’s Plate.
Guillaume Antiga, Daniel González and Unai Orradre were the best of Stock1000.
Victory for Andy Verdoia in the SSP NG. Eric Fernández holds the Peris pot
The Supersport NG race had it all. During the first laps Simon Jespersen was up front and everything seemed to indicate that he would win and take a one-two from Valencia, but he crashed, losing all options. Thus, Dani Muñoz and Ondrej Vostatek remained to fight for the victory going very close. Gradually, Andy Verdoia and Eric Fernández joined them and both passed the New2 Project Team.
The final laps were very exciting with Fernández trying to overtake Verdoia in all the corners. In the end, with the checkered flag flying, Dani won but was penalized for stepping on the green on the last lap. Thus, Andy got on the first step of the podium, Muñoz on the second and Eric on the third, keeping the Peris Leader Plate.
In Stock600 they collected the trophies Manuel Rocca, Rubén Romero and Juan Esteban Rivera.
One-two for José Luis Pérez in the PS300. The Yamaha Arco Motor University Team winner of the REDD Challenge Silkolene
How could it be otherwise, the SS300 race was in a group with up to 7 riders battling for the podium. At first Unai Calatayud seemed able to get by, but he didn’t make it and his team-mate, Gonzalo Sánchez, took over the baton. From then on there were endless changes of position and a crash, in the last corner, of three riders which broke up the group. The final laps were decisive and very exciting. Calatayud, who was running at home in front of his fans, won, second José Luis Pérez and third Antonio Torres. But, again, there was a penalty for stepping on the green on the last lap and Unai was left with no P1. José Luis scored the double in Valencia, Calatayud finished second and Uriel Hidalgo third.
Uriel Hidalgo, Antonio Torres and Iván Muñoz finished on the podium at the Kawasaki Ninja Spirit Trophy.
Carlos Cano, consolidates in PreMoto3. Ethan Sparks makes his debut in Moto4
The PreMoto3 race was really exciting with 8 riders racing in a group fighting for the podium. As usual there were a lot of position changes and overtaking which, at times, left you breathless. Carlos Cano, Alex Longarela and Enzo Bellon were the three who, finally, remained in the fight for the victory that QRG Motor Racing took to be more leader of the category. Longarela finished second and Bellon third.
In Moto4 things weren’t very different from those of PreMoto3 and there was a significant number of riders side by side to be in the three positions of honour. They went on many times and none of them ever cut. They wanted to win and with even shouts from the stands due to their nerves, Ethan Sparks was the best, David Gómez second and Pedro Varela third.
Beatriz Neila also wins the second of the Women’s Cup
The second round of the Women’s Cup also went into the hands of Beatriz Neila who rode alone throughout the race. Her biggest rival, Roberta Ponziani, crashed in the opening stages and there were others who fought for the rest of the top positions. Isis Carreño, Sara Cabrini, Aurelia Cruciani and Natalia Rivera gave their all but, in the end, Carreño finished second and Cabrini third.
The next round of the Spanish Superbike Championship will be held on the weekend of 10 and 11 June at the Circuito do Estoril.
Photographs: Ivàn Terròn