The Spanish rider narrowly missed out on a points finish on his second Moto2™ appearance as he finished in 17th place
FIM Supersport World Championship race winner Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) returned to action in the Moto2™ World Championship for the MV Agusta Forward Racing outfit at the Aragon Grand Prix, bringing his bike home in 17th place after another impressing outing for the 19-year-old.
The Spaniard, who claimed his first victory at the Motul French Round, made his debut in Moto2™ during the Dutch Grand Prix and came home in 22nd place after receiving a last-minute call-up to replace the injured Lorenzo Baldassarri. Gonzalez at MotorLand Aragon, a circuit he knows well from competing in WorldSSP and WorldSSP300, secured 30th place in qualifying.
Gonzalez got off to a great start to move up five places in the first lap before continuing to rise through the field, narrowly missing out on his first points in Moto2™ as he finished in 17th place despite an error in the race on Lap 12. Gonzalez was around four seconds away from 15th place, which would have given him a point.
"For sure, a lot of improvements,” said the Spaniard after the race. “The first thing is that now I have more experience with the Moto2™ bike, more with MV Agusta. We worked a lot this weekend looking towards the race, because in Assen we didn’t have time to try a used tyre. It went really well but here we wanted to go step-by-step, improving in every session.
“I’m really happy because the team did a really good job with me. Not only with the free practices but also in qualifying, everything was okay, working the suspension. I don’t have too much experience, it’s difficult for me to explain to the engineer what I want but he knows really well how to do the changes. I’m really happy about this weekend. It was really good. Also, the race was the most difficult for me. For one lap, you can push the limit a little bit. For 21 laps, it’s more difficult to me.”
Gonzalez’s call-up means he will now compete in five events in five weeks, with the French Round starting this run. The Aragon Grand Prix is the second event in this sequence before WorldSSP embarks on a triple header in Barcelona, Jerez and Portimao that will prove pivotal in the Championship’s battles.
Discussing his action-packed schedule, Gonzalez said: “For me, the more races the better! I don’t have any problems mentally or physically. Maybe if you have a crash in the first races, you can have a problem for the next races, but I think I am prepared. I won in France so I’m really confident in WorldSSP. I knew here, everything is different in Moto2™, but I have to look forward to World Supersport and keep improving race by race. We took the first win; I hope to take more in the next three races but I think I am really prepared.”
Watch action from WorldSSP in 2021 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!