Road Racing

Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup: Ercolani and Manso come out on top in Catalunya’s frantic races

Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup:
Ercolani and Manso come out on top in Catalunya’s frantic races

In the second round of the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani increased his title lead with another masterful victory in Race 1 at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, while Brazil’s Gustavo Manso finally took to the top step in Race 2.

The first race of the day saw more incredible racing among the youngest riders in the paddock as the R3 bLU cRU European Championship competitors vied for the podium places. Mallorca’s Marc Vich took the early lead, but he was quickly passed by a determined Aldi Satya Mahendra before the pair were joined by Brazilian battlers Manso and Kevin Fontainha. At times the riders were seven abreast in the clean but thrilling charge to the top step. Just as in Assen two weeks ago, Italy’s Ercolani kept his cool and returned to the front of the field time and time again. At the chequered flag he grabbed the victory by just 0.025 ahead of Mahendra. R3 debutant, Dorian Joulin, impressed with third place. The Frenchman missed the opening round of the season recovering from appendicitis.

Expectations ran high for another dose of amazing action in Race 2, and the crowd weren’t disappointed. It was Mahendra who made the initial break at the front, with three riders in tow. But just a few laps into the race the pack closed up to include almost the entire field of 20 riders – with most of them having a go at leading in the ever-changing race. It was Manso who consistently found his way to the front, and it paid off for the young Brazilian when he took the win by just 0.015 seconds. An increasingly consistent Ercolani managed 2nd place, and Manso’s compatriot Fontainha took the final step on the podium.

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