CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP and its riders Carlos Tatay and Xavier Artigas were looking forward to the first home race of the year under the Andalusian sun and welcomed the many fans.
CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP arrived in Jerez with their two riders anxious for good form and speed at their home event. The crew also had data and information logged from their pre-season testing sessions at the flat and compact layout in Andalucía. Carlos Tatay took the moment to shine in Free Practice on Friday; the youngster placed 4th and just three tenths of a second from P1. Artigas slotted into 19th.
Saturday was hot and sunny and the good climate stretched into Sunday raceday. Both CFMOTO bikes occupied positions in the top half of the starting grid as Moto3 whizzed around Jerez for 23 intense laps of action. Artigas powered through Q1 to place 6th and Tatay was 10th. Less than one second split the top thirteen. Unfortunately, Carlos Tatay was penalised to the back of the grid and given a Long Lap penalty for slow riding during qualifying. The dynamic of his race changed completely and Carlos actually fell on Turn 2 early into the GP while trying to regain ground.
The focus was on Xavier Artigas, who had already set a mean pace in morning warm-up and then kept a watch on the leaders from a calm and consolidated 6th place for the first part of the race. At mid-distance Xavi attacked and moved through to front the Grand Prix. The group expanded to nine and then shrank again. The Spanish fans were treated to the amazing sight of five riders going-for-broke in the ‘hairpin’ Turn 13 for the final time and while Izan Guevara was able to triumph, Artigas captured 5th; only 0.4 of a second from the winner.
CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP stare at just three teams ahead of them in the world championship standings while Tatay is 8th in the Riders’ table while Artigas holds 9th. CFMOTO lay 5th in the Constructors competition with the first quarter of the calendar now in the books.
The history and notoriously fickle climate of the Le Mans circuit is up next as MotoGP will travel north to France in two weeks time.
#43 Xavier Artigas I P05
“I’m happy about the race because the start to the weekend was quite difficult. P5 was OK and I know now I can be fighting at the front again in the next races because I feel so strong on braking. Today was trickier for me in the fast corners and it was hard as part of the group. So, a decent result and thanks for the team for all the good work we did this weekend.”
#99 Carlos Tatay I DNF
“Not the end to the weekend I wanted. It was not an easy race but it would have been possible to arrive to the lead group if it wasn’t for my mistake. I want to apologise to the team and I will come back stronger for Le Mans.”
Tom Lüthi I Team Manager
“We are very satisfied with the weekend. Carlos Tatay, who started the weekend really well and feels very comfortable at this track, was unfortunately placed at the end of the grid due to a mistake in qualifying and received an additional Long Lap penalty. That changed the race strategy for Sunday, where Tatay had to push hard from the beginning. Motivated by the good warm-up with P2, he started the race and was able to immediately catch up many positions. Perhaps a little over-motivated, Tatay made a mistake and went down, fortunately uninjured. Carlos Tatay will attack again in Le Mans because he has the pace and the good riding rhythm at the moment. We’re really happy about Xavier Artigas, who was able to show top performance in today’s race. He was still struggling at the start of the race weekend, but improved a lot and was even fighting for the podium today. We are now in the top 10 with both CFMOTO riders, feel strong and will attack again at Le Mans and try to get on the podium.”
Results Moto3™ Gran Premio Red Bull de España
1. Izan Guevara, (ESP), GASGAS 39:19.873
2. Sergio Garcia, (ESP), GASGAS +00.61
3. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.208
5. Xavier Artigas, ESP, CFMOTO +0.417
DNF. Carlos Tatay, ESP, CFMOTO
Pictures by ©  RLekl