Kristian Daniel Jr. Takes Strong Second in Moto5 At Kotarr Round of the Spanish “Cuna de Campeones” Championship
KDJR, coming off his first win of the season at the previous race, backed that up with a close second in Race 1 of the Fifth Round of Spain’s Cuna de Campeones Championship at Kotarr, Burgos. He faced mixed conditions on a damp but quickly drying track in Race 2 and was fifth on rain tires after a race-long battle against rivals who made the right guess and chose slicks. All in all, it was a valuable learning experience for the Barcelona-based, eleven-year-old American from L.A.
The KDJR Camp came into the race weekend with great energy after the recent victory on the full Motorland Grand Prix circuit, but the team they knew it would be difficult because the Moto 5 250cc race bike would be a handful to wrestle around the tight Kotarr kart track.
Five fifteen-minute free practice sessions were held on Saturday. The team spent the first session getting the bike dialed in and understanding the track. KDJR was sixth fastest out of 17 riders. He set the fastest lap times in sessions 2, 3 and 5 and clocked the second-best time for the day. He backed that up on Sunday taking second in official qualifying to David Gonzalez with Carlos Cano recording the third best time. Both sessions were run the dry but the weather forecast was for cold temperatures with the threat of rain in the afternoon.
RACE 1: Lining up second on the grid, the main focus was to have a great start and set a good pace in the first laps. KDJR got a good start and exited the first corner in second position behind Gonzalez. KDJR knew he and Gonzalez both had great pace, so he followed his rival and the pair opened a two-second gap over the trailing pack by the end of lap two. The battle commenced in earnest on lap three and for the remaining eight laps the pair rode wheel to wheel. KDJR dove into the lead several times and held it for a few corners before Gonzalez struck back. In the end, KDJR finished with a strong second, on the rear wheel of Gonzalez.
RACE 2: Preparing for the second race was difficult for the team because the conditions were damp. They only had a choice between medium compound slicks or soft rain tires. Two-thirds of the grid (including KDJR) ran with rain tires. Poleman David Gonzalez and Carlos Cano, third on the grid, choose slicks. KDJR had another great start, and exited turn 1 in second place, again behind Gonzalez, but it was soon clear that the track was drying fast. By the end of lap two, KDJR was losing traction. He managed to hold onto second position until lap 7, when Cano made it past him. From lap seven to lap eleven, he was locked into a hard battle for third, managing to hold off Kerman Martinez (on slicks) and Miguel Rodriguez (on rains). On the last lap, Martinez made a dive bomb move into the penultimate corner, making contact and pushing KDJR wide. Martinez and Rodriguez made it past and KDJR ended up finishing 5th.
Considering the team made the wrong guess with tires and KDJR was still fighting for the podium against top three riders who were on slicks, it was a good performance.
Because he was unable to compete in the opening round due to Covid19 restrictions, KDJR is out of the championship points battle in spite of taking three podiums in the last three events, but his objective is to keep learning and fight for the win in the upcoming round at Valencia, the final race of the 2020 Cuna de Campeones Championship.
1. David González (1:13.407)
2. Kristian Daniel (1:13.741)
3. Carlos Cano (1:13.796)
Results Race 1:
1. David González
2. Kristian Daniel
3. Carlos Cano
4. Miguel Rodríguez
5. Roberto Blázquez
Results Race 2:
1. David González
2. Carlos Cano
3. Kerman Martínez
4. Miguel Rodríguez
5. Kristian Daniel