Adrian Huertas defies the odds to take victory ahead of Tom Booth-Amos and Yuta Okaya.
As the 44 riders geared up for Race 1, it was expected to be as drama-filled as ever, and this race was just that from the get-go!
Huertas gained the holeshot into Turn 1, the Top 10 riders soon formed the leading group, but it soon became the top 4 battling for the lead, with Tom Booth-Amos and Unai Orradre putting constant pressure on Huertas, and Ton Kawakami behind to pick up the pieces. Jeffrey Buis was in the mix also, often lying in wait to make a lunge for the lead.
Amongst the constant battles, turmoil hit the front with 9 laps still to go, as frontman Huertas received a long-lap penalty for exceeding track limits. The Spaniard took the penalty immediately, and only fell to the back of the leading group, taking to 10th place behind Bruno Ieraci.
The penalty allowed Booth-Amos to take the lead, while attempts from Orradre and Kawakami were made, the Brit was able to hold out for the most part, and stay at the front of the pack.
As we reached halfway distance, the scraps in the lead group allowed those behind to catch up, with the likes of Bahattin Sofuoglu and Dorren Loureiro bridging the gap between their pack and the leaders.
With 5 laps to go, Huertas managed to work his way into the midst of the Top 10, overtaking both Kawakami brothers and sitting behind Buis in 5th. Once the group headed across the start/finish straight, the slipstream mix-up allowed Huertas into the main battle for first as Yuta Okaya entered the fray against Booth-Amos, challenging the Brit for the lead.
A wipeout incident involving Sofuoglu and Meikon Kawakami at Turn 1 resulted in the race being Red Flagged with just 3 laps remaining. Despite Booth-Amos’ astounding performance all race, a new format in time keeping handed the victory to Huertas. Unlike before, where we would look to who last lead the race across the line at the red flag, there are now time-keeping “points” throughout the circuit which are used to determine who was leading at the time of the red flag. In this point in time, it was decided that Huertas had taken the lead from Booth-Amos. When the riders reached the paddock, there was a moment of confusion for all riders, before the Spaniard received his maiden win in the series. While Booth-Amos received P2, and Okaya rounds out the podium in 3rd.
While Huertas conquered the obstacles thrown at him for a much-earned win, let’s just hope that Race 2 will go the full distance!
Race 2 begins today at 15:15 Local Time (GMT +2).
Feature Image: Randy van Maasdijk
Top 5 Result:
- Adrian Huertas
- Tom Booth-Amos
- Yuta Okaya
- Unai Orradre
- Samuel Di Sora