Over the weekend of 20-21 November, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, the TM Racing Factory Team Moto3 contested the eighth and final round of the FIM CEV Repsol Junior World Championship, fielding its three riders, Spaniard David Salvador and Italians Nicola Carraro and Raffaele Fusco.
After completing the two free practice sessions, the three TM riders tackled qualifying, which was made difficult by the weather, the track slippery due to rain. By the end of the two sessions, David Salvador (1’51”213) had set the eighth fastest time, while Raffaele Fusco (1’52”789) and Nicola Carraro (1’54”112) closed in twenty-third and twenty-seventh place respectively.
The Valencia event schedule involved two races, both of which ran on Sunday, one in the last morning and one in the afternoon. Thanks to their qualifying results, Salvador lined up on row three of the grid and Carraro on row nine, while unfortunately Fusco crashed during the morning’s warm-up. The circuit doctors deemed him unfit to race. The Italian rider is doing well and has already returned home.
In the first race, David Salvador proved competitive with his TM, scoring a strong fifth-place finish, while Carraro crossed the line twenty-second, penalised by a poor starting position. In the second race, the Spanish TM Racing Factory Team rider ran a great race which saw him reach the third step of the podium. Nicola improved on his race 1 performance, finishing nineteenth, just a few tenths from the points zone.
And so the factory TM team rounds out the FIM CEV Repsol Junior world championship with a podium, rider David Salvador not only scoring third in race 2 but also finishing fifth overall in the final championship standings.
Circuito Ricardo Tormo – Valencia – Spain
Race 1: 1) Kelso (KTM) – 2) Alonso (GasGas) – 3) Ortola (KTM) – 4) Ogden (GasGas) – 5) Salvador (TM) – 6) Azman (Honda) 7) Garcia (Honda) …… 22) Carraro (TM)
Race 2: 1) Olgado (GasGas) – 2) Ortola (KTM) – 3) Salvador (TM) – 4) Bertelle (KTM) – 5) Ogden (GasGas) – 6) Kelso (KTM) – 7) Azman (Honda) ……… 19) Carraro (TM)
Nicola Carraro: “A weekend also complicated by rain during qualifying, but we gained a lot of experience as a result. My races were conditioned by my starting position of course, but the positive is that my bike was competitive, and I was able to maintain a very strong pace, which allowed me to make up ground. I want to thank my team and all the technicians for a great season.”
David Salvador: “We’ve finished the season in style, on the podium! I would have liked to win at Valencia, but the races were tough and very hard fought. In race 1 I just missed out on the podium by a few tenths and so I was even more determined to get there in race 2, and I did it. Huge thanks to the team, they’ve worked so hard and allowed me to improve and score strong results.”
Raffaele Fusco: “Practice and qualifying went quite well, especially the wet sessions, and I was sure I’d be able to complete solid races. Unfortunately though, I crashed in qualifying and then again in Sunday morning warm-up. As a precautionary measure, the doctors decided I shouldn’t race, although fortunately I feel good. I’m sorry because I didn’t want to end my season in this way, but I take the opportunity to thank the entire TM team with whom I’ve got on so well.”
Mattia Serafini – Team Manager: “It was a positive weekend that allowed us to finish this 2021 season with a nice result. Third place and David’s podium in race 1 was like the icing on the cake. Already in the first race our Spaniard rider went close to the podium and then in the next race he did not miss it. The weekend was made difficult by the rain, which fell in free practice and qualifying. If we add to this that our riders have not been on their bikes for almost two months, it is easy to understand how it was certainly not easy to find a good set up for our bikes. I’m sorry for Fusco that he would have done some good races, but a crash during the warm up led the doctors to stop him as a precaution. Salvador was very fast all weekend, supported by a very competitive bike. Carraro paid for the starting position, but then in the race he managed to keep a good pace and recover many positions. It has been a season of growth, which has confirmed the validity of our work”.