The weekend began in dry conditions on Friday morning, and Yamaha MS Racing WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Orradre, Alan Kroh and Ton Kawakami all set times inside the top 30, as Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Sofuoğlu and Alvaro Diaz were unable to reach their full potential, due to traffic and small errors as they got to grips with the Spanish venue.
Unfortunately, it would turn out to be the only full dry session, as the heavy rain denied the bLU cRU youngsters any chance to further improve in FP2, persisting into Saturday morning’s final practice. That saw Sofuoğlu and Diaz enter the Last Chance Race, needing to finish inside the top six to earn a place on the main race grids.
The Yamaha MS Racing trio pressed on into the Tissot Superpole, where Orradre, Kroh and Kawakami were able to utilise slick tyres for the first time since FP1. Spanish rider Orradre went fifth fastest and was joined on the second row by rookie teammate Kroh, who had led the bLU cRU charge on Friday’s running and qualified an impressive sixth, confirming his recent strong form. Kawakami couldn’t match his earlier pace from first practice and had to settle for 25th.
In the Last Chance Race, Sofuoğlu and Diaz battled in the top six throughout, with the Turkish rider taking a second-place finish, while his Spanish teammate was unfortunate to have an incident at Turn 4 on the sixth lap, which dropped him to 21st and ending his weekend.
Starting from 31st on the Race 1 grid, Sofuoğlu was finally able to show his potential in Barcelona. With the track still wet from an earlier shower, the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge leader made no mistakes and climbed 22 places to finish ninth. Kawakami also made good progress, fighting his way from 25th to sixth on the first lap, eventually finishing 11th as he struggled with the constantly evolving conditions.
Orradre slipped back early on and couldn’t make progress back forward, finishing 20th, while teammate Kroh struggled to match his relative pace in the dry and dropped to 26th.
Temperatures climbed higher on Sunday, which saw the bLU cRU WorldSSP300 riders get plenty of laps in the morning’s Warm Up ahead of the final race of the weekend. The field was more tightly contested and Orradre was quickly into the lead battle, as Sofuoğlu joined the fray after an incredible comeback from the 10th row of the grid.
On the final lap, Sofuoğlu and 16-year-old Orradre moved into the top three but the latter had an incident with the race leader, seeing his fellow bLU cRU rider also lose time while taking evasive action. Sofuoğlu managed to recover to 10th, while Orradre fell to a 26th-place finish.
German rider Kroh was involved with the lead group and showed race-winning pace, but the hotly contested battle saw him finish one place outside the points in 16th, just 2.549s behind the winner. Kawakami was looking to make places from the eighth row, but was involved in a multi-bike collision early on, which saw him drop several seconds behind the pack and the Brazilian crossed the line 28th.
2020 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge standings
1. Bahattin Sofuoğlu
2. Unai Orradre
3. Ton Kawakami
4. Alan Kroh
5. Alvaro Diaz