For the Teruel round, the second part of MotorLand Aragón’s double-header, the bLU cRU riders were looking to improve on their performances from the weekend prior, and on Friday they were all comfortably inside the top 30.
By the end of FP3, Sofuoğlu, teammate Alvaro Diaz, and Yamaha MS Racing WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Unai Orradre, Alan Kroh and Ton Kawakami, had all done enough to automatically qualify for the Tissot Superpole, which sets the grids for both 10-lap races.
In Saturday’s qualifier, Turkish youngster Sofuoğlu, who had led the bLU cRU contingent on combined times in practice, went a step further and broke the lap record on his R3 GYTR to claim pole position by 0.659s. Orradre and Kroh put it onto the fifth row in 13th and 15th respectively, with their Yamaha MS Racing teammate Ton Kawakami starting just behind in 16th. Diaz struggled to reach his full potential in the Superpole, having gone ninth overall across the free practice sessions, and would line-up 27th on the grid.
With most riders having a full weekend’s experience already, the field was tightly packed in Race 1, with 16-year-old Spanish youngster Orradre joining Sofuoğlu in the lead battle, who was swapping places among the top five throughout the race. On the final lap he made his bid for the win, just missing out by 0.042s on the line, but the race-winning Kawasaki was found to be non-compliant, seeing the 17-year-old promoted to victory, his second of the season.
Orradre made up eight places to take another top-five finish, scoring more important championship points, as 16-year-old rookie Kroh also recorded his third consecutive points finish in a personal best 10th. Kawakami and Diaz also fought in the lead battle throughout, which covered most of the top 20, finishing 13th and 14th respectively.
A promising Warm Up saw Diaz go fifth quickest, with Kawakami, Kroh and Orradre all inside the top 12, as Sofuoğlu suffered a setback with a fall early on and didn’t set a lap time. Despite this, the Jerez race-winner was once again in the lead battle from pole position, but was unable to stay in the slipstream of first and had to settle for a fight over second. He crossed the line in third to reignite his title bid, moving into the championship’s top three.
Spanish Junior Superbike champion Orradre once again moved forwards through the lead group and eventually finished in seventh, seeing him leave Aragón tied on points with Sofuoğlu. Kawakami initially crossed the line 16th, but a disqualification ahead saw him move up a place to continue his record of scoring points in every race he’s finished so far this year.
Kroh was unfortunate to lose out on another points finish, and was just over a tenth behind his Brazilian teammate in 17th, as Diaz was also left frustrated in traffic, rounding out the bLU cRU runners in 22nd.
2020 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge standings
1. Bahattin Sofuoğlu
2. Unai Orradre
3. Ton Kawakami
4. Alan Kroh
5. Alvaro Diaz