From the rain-soaked circuit of Estoril the European Talent Cup moved to sunny Valencia for round two. Wilson Racing, the Moto3 team from Barnsley, suffered mixed fortunes over the weekend. Jack Hart showed fantastic pace but crashed out of both races, the first whilst leading. Fenton Seabright suffered a harsh grid penalty of 12 places but managed to come back and score points in both races.
With 62 riders attempting to make the 38 rider grid qualifying was split into two groups. Jack Hart continued the form that saw him stand on the podium in the recent British Talent Cup event as he finished third in his group.
Fenton Seabright also set a good lap time ending his two qualifying sessions in seventh overall. Unfortunately for the runner up in race one at Estoril, he was sanctioned with a 12 place grid penalty. The penalty related to the finish line crash he had with Spanish rider Ivan Ortola that saw the British rider hit the asphalt just after the line. Ortola, for his part, received an 8 place grid penalty.
With the times combined from the two groups and various sanctions issued to various riders, Hart was awarded fourth on the grid. His teammate started the race 26th. As the race got underway Hart got boxed out dropping down to eleventh at the end of the first lap. Seabright quickly made up four places to move into 22nd.
After a couple of laps of getting himself together Hart started to make his way through the riders in the leading group. With 13 laps remaining he was up to 7th. Hart continued to progress and was in second place with ten laps to go. It then got even better for the number 20. Ten laps from the finish he moved into the race lead as he swept through on the inside on the last corner. Unfortunately, his race lead didn’t last. He subsequently crashed out at the front of the race with 9 laps remaining.
Seabright was still working his way through a multitude of Moto3 machines. Having started 26th he was closing in on the points places with five laps remaining. As the race came to a close Seabright was in a battle fourth 12th between four riders. That fight included Ortola, who was involved in the incident in Estoril with him. At the flag, Seabright finished 14th just three-tenths behind Ortola who crossed the line 12th. Seabright managed to pick up a couple of points, which in the circumstances was a very good achievement.
Jack Hart was back on the grid, this time he started 5th after those riders that had served their penalties returned to their correct positions. Seabright moved all the way back up to 14th.
Hart did not get away from the line well and dropped down to 13th in the running order. Seabright made up a couple of positions on the first lap to sit just ahead of his teammate in 12th.
On lap four Hart crashed out whilst fighting in a large group of riders ending his racing weekend early. Seabright was still in that group which contained around seven or eight riders all battling for 9th position.
The competitiveness of the class meant that positions changed often and riders were just hundredths of a second apart. Seabright managed to cross the line in 11th position as the chequered flag came out.
Fenton Seabright is now seventh in the championship on 33 points whilst Hart’s pace has yet to be rewarded with a points finish.
The next round of the European Talent Cup will be at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona on 9 June 2019.
Gary Wilson said, “It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Fenton had to take on the chin the penalty he was given for the finish line crash at Estoril but his attitude was always positive and he fought back really well. I feel very sorry for Jack Hart. He was brilliant in qualifying and managed to lead the first race after a bad start. We know he has got the pace and with a bit more luck he will be scoring points very soon.”