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R3 bLU cRU Class Prepares for Six-Rider Title Showdown

R3 bLU cRU Class Prepares for Six-Rider Title Showdown

The final round of a thrilling R3 bLU cRU European Championship season will take place this weekend in Magny-Cours, France, where six riders remain in mathematical contention for the title and the chance for promotion to WorldSSP300 in 2024.

Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani currently leads the way after his great tally of three wins and three second places, although the 19-year-old has suffered two crashes in the last two races, putting paid to his previously sizeable advantage. Ercolani wowed onlookers by winning last year’s R3 SuperFinale, giving him an automatic spot in this year’s R3 season, which he has certainly put to good use.

Closing in rapidly is Indonesia’s Aldi Satya Mahendra, currently in second overall and just 16 points behind Ercolani. Mahendra has learned from his early-season mistakes and has become one of the fastest in the class, taking four wins, including victory by a huge margin of seven seconds at Round 5 in Imola. The 17-year-old has also had a podium in the WorldSSP300 class this year as a wildcard, proving he is keen and ready to make the step up.

Trailing 28 points behind the lead is Brazil’s Kevin Fontainha, a rider who has proven the old adage of “consistency is key”. With no wins to his name this season, Fontainha has climbed the standings simply by finishing every race. Five podiums have also brought him well into contention. The 17-year-old finished second in last year’s championship, so he will give everything to go one better in 2023. 

Fontainha’s compatriot, Gustavo Manso has also been a consistent performer throughout the year, winning two races at the start of the season and always placing himself within the lead group. The battle of the Brazilians will be an interesting one, as Manso is just five points behind Fontainha, and 33 points from the top.  

Two more riders, Marc Vich (Spain) and Krittapat Keankum (Thailand), are also mathematically in contention as they sit fewer than 50 points from the top with 50 points left on the table. Vich has achieved two podiums and one win this year and is currently 35 points from the top, while Keankum has clocked three podiums and is 49 points from Ercolani. While plenty of other riders will want to show their potential and shine at the final round of the year, including home favourite Dorian Joulin.

The grand finale of the 2023 R3 bLU cRU season will take place Saturday September 9th at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours and you can follow the title showdown via the WorldSBK app and on the Yamaha bLU cRU Instagram page.