You are about to leave this website. Are you sure?

I agree, take me there

Indonesia’s Aldi Satya Mahendra Grabs First Pole of the R3 bLU cRU Season

Indonesia’s Aldi Satya Mahendra Grabs First Pole of the R3 bLU cRU Season

Indonesia’s young star and series rookie, Aldi Satya Mahendra, got his Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Championship season off to a flying start when he took pole position at the TT Circuit Assen ahead of the first race of the year.

19 riders from across the globe were ready to take to the track on Friday morning for Free Practice at the windy but dry Dutch circuit. In this session it was Brazil’s Gustavo Manso who set the fastest time with a 1’54.726. The 18-year-old was one of the stars of last year’s series, and he came out fighting by clocking a lap time which was almost a second faster than that of his rivals. Mahendra was second fastest in the morning, while Manso’s compatriot, Eduardo Burr was 3rd. Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani and Brazil’s Kevin Fontainha completed the Top 5 in FP.

All the riders felt a lot more comfortable on the technical Assen track when qualifying rolled around, especially after the detailed analysis they received from rider coach, Lorenzo Alfonsi, after Free Practice. This familiarity and boost in confidence led to faster times from many riders and smaller gaps.

Unfortunately, the Superpole session was interrupted by two red flags; the first when Thailand’s Thurakij Buapa went down on the first lap, and the second when Manso fell after completing just two laps. Buapa escaped uninjured, while Manso picked up a small ankle injury which will need to be checked before tomorrow’s races.

Maintaining their focus, the remaining 17 riders re-joined the circuit for the last 20 minutes of Superpole. Mahendra saw his chance to set some quick laps, and he closed the session with a best of 1’54.831, putting him on pole for Saturday’s races. The quick Brazilian pairing of Fontainha and Burr completed the front row of the grid, both within half a second of Mahendra’s top time. 

There was a dramatic end to the session when Japan’s Shoma Yamane and Turkey’s Mert Konuk collided, both parties will have to undergo a double long lap penalty tomorrow. 

Full Superpole results can be found here

R3 bLU cRU European Championship

Aldi Satya Mahendra

I’m really happy that I got the first pole position of the season here in Assen today. Tomorrow I will give all my best for both races, but at the same time it’s important I that I keep my mind focused and stay confident.