The Japanese rider was one of four riders that broke away at the front. In that group was Spaniard Carlos Tatay, Belgian Barry Baltus and hanging on at the end another Spanish rider David Salvador.
At the start of the race it was another Japanese rider that made the holeshot. Haruki Noguchi came through from the second row to lead Kunii and Baltus. Max Cook also made a good start and was running fifth and in the leading group.
Unfortunately, he was noted to have made a jump start which resulted in a ride-through penalty and the end of his chances of battling anywhere near the front of the race.
Noguchi slipped back into the second group of riders which saw Lorenzo Fellon take fifth from the Japanese rider and then Jason Dupasquier was 7th.
The front rider began to break away around halfway through the race. None of the riders could get to the front and gap the others and positions swapped regularly.
On the penultimate lap Kunii put the hammer down as Tatay overtook Baltus for second position. The Japanese rider was able to pull away three or four bike lengths. As they started the final lap the three were riding together again. Baltus managed to squeeze under Tatay towards the end of the lap but the Spanish rider was able to easily recover the position.
Kunii managed to hold on to the lead crossing the finish line 0.130 seconds ahead of Tatay and 0.250 before Baltus.
Despite suffering a ride-through Max Cook fought his way back to finish in 11th position having initially dropped down to 19th and being 3.7 seconds behind the rider in front. Although a couple of riders crashed out he managed to clawback a huge amount of time to pick off a number of riders to score five championship points.
Red Bull Rookies Jerez 2019 race 1 result
|13||Van Den Goorbergh||40.753||3|