On the back of his best race result at Estoril, Swindon racer Charlie Nesbitt achieved his highest qualifying result of the year in the latest round of the Moto3 Junior World Championship at Jerez.
Following a test last week, Nesbitt came into the weekend feeling really positive. In qualifying on Saturday, Nesbitt recorded a 1’47.728 which placed him 12th overall and just a tenth outside the top ten. It was the youngster’s best qualifying of the season and reflected the progress he has been making this year.
For the second qualifying session the wind had picked up and the temperature had risen meaning, like nearly all the riders, Nesbitt was unable to improve his lap time. The 16-year-old spent the session riding on used tyres and getting laps under his belt.
In race one, Nesbitt didn’t get off the line as well as he wanted with a bit of air under the front wheel. At the end of the first lap he was in 14th position and working hard to tag onto the back of a group of around five riders ahead.
Within two laps he had caught the group and moved up to 12th position. Nesbitt was battling with Petrarca, Pizzolo and Nepa and his race position fluctuated between 11th and 13th in this close group. By the eleventh lap of sixteen Nesbitt was 11th and on the rear wheel of his more experienced team mate Jeremy Alcoba. With three laps remaining Nesbitt had reached the top ten before going on to cross the line for an incredibly hard fought and fully deserved eighth position.
Race two saw a better start to race two and Nesbitt was 12th after the first lap. He was leading the second group for a few laps before he managed to bridge the gap between himself and the front eleven riders all battling for the podium positions. Unfortunately, with eight laps remaining Nesbitt crashed unhurt at turn two. On a positive note, in clawing his way to the front group Nesbitt’s best lap time of 1’48.179 was just over two tenths slower than the fastest lap of the race.
“Apart from race two, obviously, it’s been a great weekend. Qualifying was good, my best of the year. Race one was awesome, an eigth place to follow up the seventh at Estoril. As always a massive thanks to Scott Redding, Michael Bartholemy, Simon at SRS, Swindon Electrical and the whole Monlau Engineering Team,” said Nesbitt.