American road racer Kenny Noyes rode his PL Racing Suter to third place at Jerez de la Frontera in the opening round of the Spanish Moto2 Championship today in a restarted race that consisted of nine laps run under heavy rain. After the first start, red-flagged due to a crash, the grid of 32 riders returned to the drying track, all on slicks, only to have rain begin to fall on the warm-up lap. Although the track was drying before the restart, the race had been declared "wet" by Race Direction.
Spaniard Dani Rivas won on a TSR Galicia Kalex from Australian Kris McLaren (BHP FTR) with Noyes third, just a bike length out of second at the flag.
"We really didn't have a good rain set-up in the warm-up and, when it started to rain heavily right at the start, I backed off a bit because I thought they would stop it again and I wanted to stay on two wheels so that I could make the restart," Noyes said in a team release. "Then, when I realized the race was going on, I got my head down and fought back toward the front, but by then Rivas was gone. I had a plan to pass McLaren for third on the inside on the final corner, but the two of us caught Mariñelarena who was second at the time. McLaren dove inside and there just wasn't room for three of us side by side, but I got good drive out. We both passed Mariñelarena and I was third, just missing second."
"The team did a great job putting all this together so quickly after the team I was going to ride the World Championship with backed out on me. A week ago I just had a rolling Suter chassis, no engine and no practice on the bike. I got to thank the guys, my crewchief George Vukmanovich, team owner Pedro Parajua, "Boqui," all the PL team. Coming out of here with 16 points was way more than I expected with no pre-season. Now we have time to get ready for Navarra next month. My last two races have both been on slicks in the rain... fifth in the GP of Valencia at the end of last season and now this. It's just not something you practice."
The second American in the race, Tommy Aquino, pitted to change to rain tires and finished 21st.