Chennai: India’s Geoffrey Emmanuel, despite a high-side crash in qualifying session, went on to complete his debut race in the first round of the FIM World Championship JuniorGP at the famed Circuit do Estoril in Portugal on Sunday.
Chennai-born 18-year old Geoffrey, the first and lone Indian rider in the JuniorGP, crashed in the very first flying lap of the qualifying session on Saturday and could not post a time.
However, he was still allowed to race on Sunday because of his times in free practice sessions, but had to start from the back of the 29-bike grid and eventually finished 22nd.
Geoffrey, who is sponsored by Fairstreet Sports, Vidiem, Vamcy Merla Sports Foundation and Gusto Racing India, had a very good start in the race.
Despite having just 35 minutes of track time on the bike and nursing injuries, he did well to stick on to the last bunch in Moto3. After a red flag due to crashes and a restart of a shortened five-lap race, he moved up to 19th spot before finishing the race in 22nd position with some good battles with the seasoned Moto3 riders, reports received here today said.
Earlier, in Free Practice 1, Geoffrey rode the 2018 bike until the new engine arrived for the season, and was fitted on to the new chassis.
It meant he could ride only for the last 15 minutes of FP2. His FP3 outing was curtailed to 20 minutes of track time due to rains.
Geoffrey said “I enjoyed riding at the highest level of the junior World Championship. I have been learning and improving with every lap on the new bike even though I wasn’t at my best physically. Now, we are looking forward to round two in Valencia, Spain, later this month. I would like to thank my sponsors Fairstreet sports, Vidiem, Vamcy Merla Sports Foundation and Gusto Racing India.”
The second round of the championship, which is a junior class race event that runs under FIM Moto3 regulations and acts as a Moto3 World Championship feeder class, will be held at the Circuit do Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain, on May 20-21.