Ercolani and Manso come out on top in Catalunya’s frantic R3 races

Saturday, 6 May 2023 19:35 GMT

The wins on Saturday in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Championship were shared between Ercolani and Manso

Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani increased his title lead with another masterful victory in Race 1 at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, and Brazil’s Gustavo Manso finally took to the top step in Race 2.

The first race of the day saw more incredible racing among the youngest riders in the paddock as the R3 bLU cRU European Championship competitors vied for the podium places. Mallorca’s Marc Vich took the early lead, but he was quickly passed by a determined Aldi Satya Mahendra before the pair were joined by Brazilian battlers Manso and Kevin Fontainha. At times the riders were seven abreast in the clean but thrilling charge to the top step. Just as in Assen two weeks ago, Italy’s Ercolani kept his cool and returned to the front of the field time and time again. At the chequered flag he grabbed the victory by just 0.025 ahead of Mahendra. R3 debutant, Dorian Joulin, impressed with third place. The Frenchman missed the opening round of the season recovering from appendicitis.

Expectations ran high for another dose of amazing action in Race 2, and the crowd weren’t disappointed. It was Mahendra who made the initial break at the front, with three riders in tow. But just a few laps into the race the pack closed up to include almost the entire field of 20 riders – with most of them having a go at leading in the ever-changing race. It was Manso who consistently found his way to the front, and it paid off for the young Brazilian when he took the win by just 0.015 seconds. An increasingly consistent Ercolani managed 2nd place, and Manso’s compatriot Fontainha took the final step on the podium.

Indonesia’s Mahendra ran wide on the final lap and was involved in a crash with Italy’s Christian Stringhetti at Turn 6. Both riders went to the medical centre, where Stringhetti was found to have ankle contusions.

Full Saturday results can be found for Race 1 here and Race 2 here.

Emiliano Ercolani
P1 Race 1

“In the first part of the race I knew I needed to stay calm and study the riders around me, I didn’t want to get involved in the fight immediately. Then I knew I needed to push in the second half of the race to try to win again, it’s fantastic to pick up more points here.”

Gustavo Manso
P1 Race 2

“It was a weekend of good results for the championship, Barcelona was a difficult track for us, but I still managed to achieve a victory. This feels great after I missed Race 1 in Assen due to injury. Now we have to work harder for the next races to see what we can achieve. Thanks for the work of all the Yamaha team!”