Motorland Aragon, Spain- It was a weekend of learning the processes and regulations of the FIM for Braeden during Round 1 of the European Junior Cup at Motorland, Aragon Spain.
For a few short hours, the atmosphere was tense as international license issues were worked out with the FIM regulators. Due to a recent change in licensing requirements, racing in the European Junior Cup requires all riders have a FIM Europe license, as an FIM International road racing license is no longer valid. There are no consolations made within the organization and after several discussions with the Canadian Motorcycle Association and the FIM, we finally came to the conclusion that both the CMA and AMA did not even offer such a license.
In the end Ortt purchased a temporary event specific race license.
Rain was looming on Saturday prior to the 30 minute qualifying session, so rain tires were mounted and ready to go. Fortunately, Braeden was able to get a few laps in before the drops started to fall and the rain flags started to wave. This meant that the riders who put their quickest laps in early in the session would grid higher than riders who decided to wait until later in the session. Braeden qualified with a very respectable 13th position on the grid. Although Ortt was slightly disappointed with his time, he was making great improvements and narrowing the gap to the quicker riders.
Sunday brought sunny skies and warm weather for the Superbike fans. It was a long day of waiting and mentally preparing for the start of the race at 13:05. All of the procedures for the start were new to Ortt including the pre-grid preparations, the sighting lap, and having a team on the grid while the media took pictures and fans waited for the start. When the lights went out, Ortt unfortunately didn’t pull away as strong as he would have liked and at the end of the first lap was running in P16. He quickly made a few passes and after the second lap was battling for 12th position. The positions swapped several times during the next few laps and on the final lap while holding a solid P13, Ortt pushed a little too hard and washed the back end out in Corner 7.
Following the washout, the marshals were there quickly and Braeden was able to get up and finish the race coming in just out of the points in 17th position.
Although Ortt was disappointed with his crash on the last lap, he is confident that he can compete near the top of the grid. Ortt pulled lap times about a second faster than the next group in front of him.
“I felt my tires scrubbing a lot through the race and I was fighting for traction. We are analyzing a lot of things from this weekend and we are going to work on some bike set up improvements for Assen, I know my pace was getting quicker and I feel good about the next race in Assen. I’ve learned how everything works.”
“Starting on a grid with my mechanic dad and umbrella girl mom was a whole new experience for all of us and with media taking pictures and penalties for prerace grid infractions, it was a bit stressful and I’m glad that I know what to expect now.”
“Although I was upset with my crash, as I was walking back to the paddock I was stopped by some fans who wanted to take pictures with me and as they congratulated me I realized that I have seven races left to get in the points and continue to develop as a racer.”
From: Braeden Ortt Racing