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The Pata European Junior Cup gets underway at Motorland Aragon‏

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This weekend the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda Racing kicked off its opening round at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Javier Orellana took the win in a thrilling race from start to finish. Orellana placed second overall in last year’s championship and pushed hard to secure today’s win. In a close field of talented young riders Orellana battled with eventual second place finisher Paolo Grassia to the very end in a nail-biting eight-lap race.

Grassia started the race from third on the grid and was one of the front-runners throughout the whole race. Emanuele Pusceddu completed the EJC podium in third place. During practice on Friday Pusceddu suffered a massive crash and although was declared fit to race was carrying an injury going into today, but was still able to be challenging for the win.

Fourth place finisher Mika Perez had an impressive ride and led the pack for most of the race and looked to be taking the win. With three laps left the pack at the front closed and the Spaniard lost time and settled to fourth. Fifth place went to Hannes Soomer and the fastest Brit during the race was Stefan Hill who crossed the line in 14th place.

Meanwhile in the FIM Europe Women’s European Championship Avalon Biddle took the win and finished overall in 13th position. Biddle was also the fastest female in qualifying in 17th. At the start of the race the New Zealand rider was caught up in a first corner crash and lost time but soon made her way up the pack to win the women’s race and overall placed 13th.

Anastassia Kovalenko was the second fastest female and finished overall in 21st, and Laura Rodriguez finished one place behind in 22nd. Rodriguez had a brave race after crashing out in yesterdays qualifying and was still in some pain during the race. Viktoria Kis had a promising ride before crashing out on the fourth lap, where she was holding 18th position. Kis had qualified in 26th place.

The next round of the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda Racing takes place next weekend at Assen, the Netherlands 17-19 April.

Javier Orellana – 1st

It’s been a really good weekend here at Aragon for the first round of the year. We started free practice well and I qualified fifth. Every EJC race is crazy with seven strong riders leading the group. I knew coming into the last turn I was strong and I braked late and got the win.

Paolo Grassia – 2nd

The race was fantastic and I am very happy to finish second, but also a little disappointed as I lost the win by 0.028s. I would like to say thank you to my mechanic and father and I look forward to the race at Assen.

Emanuele Pusceddu - 3rd

I was really happy to finish on the podium today at Aragon. I had a big crash on Friday so I was feeling a little sore from that, but for sure I will be fit for Assen and looking to win.

Avalon Biddle – 13th

I’m pretty happy to come away with the victory in the women’s class, it’s my first race competing at this level so I really nervous coming into the weekend and thinking don’t crash, which is unusual for me but I wanted to score the points for the women’s championship and that’s what I did. I was hoping for a top-ten overall and finished 13th, there was a big crash at the start and I ran wide and lost a few positions so had to pass the rest of the girls and make my way back up. I’m looking forward to Assen and hopefully a top-ten.

Gerry Bryce – Pata European Junior Cup director

It was an absolutely fantastic race and to have had that many riders so close at the end was a real display of some great riders and talent. We’re really happy to have Javier at the top: the pass he made at the end of the straight to take the win was phenomenal. Throughout the whole weekend all the riders have behaved professionally and shown immense talent, we’re very proud of them all and look forward to next weekend at Assen.

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