Northern Talent Cup: the series started in Le Mans!
Polesitter Rossi Moor (FAIRIUM Next Generation Riders Team) claimed the first victory of the season at the famous Le Mans Circuit as the Hungarian edged out Loris Veneman (TeamNL Open Line) by just 0.166s in a fascinating first encounter of the 2022 Northern Talent Cup. Rookie Matteo Masili (FAIRIUM Next Generation Riders Team) won the battle for the final podium spot despite starting from P9 following a three-place grid penalty. As the lights went out it was Moor who managed to grab the holeshot before drama unfolded behind at Turn 3, with four riders crashing out – one of whom was Valentino Herrlich (Busch und Wagner Racing Team) who was later confirmed to have suffered a tibia fracture. The German will unfortunately miss Race 2 as a result, and after some top pace in pre-season.
A lead group of eight quickly formed as Moor and the fast-starting Noa Cuypers (Junior Black Knights) jostled for P1 on a number of occasions, before Veneman then climbed into the top three. The excellent battle for the lead continued throughout the race until Moor and Veneman were able to break away with two laps to go. Cuypers, after a couple of mistakes, had lost ground and so had the likes of Kevin Farkas (Agria Racing Team), Martin Vincze (Chrobak Motorsport Egyesület), Masili, Tibor Varga (Forty Racing) and Luca Göttlicher (JRP Junior Academy), with front row starter Dustin Schneider (Goblin Racing) forced to take a Long Lap penalty after taking a shortcut at Turn 4.
On the last lap it was Moor vs Veneman. The Dutchman led but Moor made a great move stick down into Turn 9, and following a faultless final sector, the Hungarian won for the fourth time in the NTC. Veneman equalled his best result in the class with a classy P2, however, with Masili on the rostrum for the first time with a great comeback ride from the rookie.
Farkas and Vincze completed the top five, and they both crossed the line less than a second adrift from the final podium place. Cuypers eventually took P6 and Göttlicher bridged a two-second gap to the lead group in the closing stages to claim P7 from 13th on the grid. The German finished ahead of Varga, who – after failing to take a Long Lap penalty – was handed a three-second penalty at the end of the race. Schneider’s podium hopes evaded him after his Long Lap and he finished P9, with Rocco Sessler (MCA Racing) picking up P10.
Kevin Farkas (Agria Racing Team) claimed a stunning victory in Race 2 of the opening Northern Talent Cup round in Le Mans after the Hungarian pulled off a late penultimate corner move on Race 1 winner Rossi Moor (FARIUM Next Generation Riders). Moor crossed the line in P2 but was demoted one place for exceeding track limits on the last lap, seeing Loris Venemen (TeamNL Open Line) promoted to second.
Moor was once again on pole but it was his teammate Matteo Masili who launched excellently from P6 on the grid to take the holeshot, as the field safely negotiated the tricky Dunlop Chicane on Lap 1. A lead group of 11 riders formed at the front and as we saw on Saturday, the P1 baton was being passed around often – no one able to properly establish themselves as a long-time race leader.
Moor and Veneman were able to bridge a gap in the closing stages of the opening race, but there wasn’t to be a repeat in Race 2 – Farkas, the aforementioned duo, Dustin Schneider (Goblin Racing), Noa Cuypers (Junior Black Knights), Masili and Tibor Varga (Forty Racing) were all eyeing at least a podium heading into the closing stages.
Farkas led onto the final lap and held P1 until Turn 11. That’s when Moor – a favourable passing place for the Hungarian this weekend – planted his KTM 250 machine up the inside. It was a move that stuck, but Farkas conjured up a plan that he executed to perfection at Turn 13.
The pass up the inside of Moor was firm but fair, as the number 92 then stepped out onto the green. Farkas made no mistake at the final corner to pick up a phenomenal victory in Le Mans, Moor was forced to cross the line in second with Venemen third, but track limits saw those positions switched after the chequered flag.
Cuypers took P4 less than half a second away from victory, with Schneider completing the top five. Race 1 podium finisher Masili ended Race 2 in sixth, as Varga lost out on the final lap at Turn 8 in the scrap for the podium – the Hungarian was P7. Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy), Martin Vincze (Chrobak Motorsport Egyesület) and Maxime Schmid (Team Schmid) rounded out the top 10.