Riding alongside the big stars of MotoGP. This might be something we are all dreaming about. For FIM CEV´s rider Lukas Tulovic this dream recently came true, when MotoGP attended Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto for its 4th race of the 2018 season.
From 4th – 6th May the Circuit Jerez, which got named after the “12+1” world champion, hosted the first European race. Next to all the known riders Moto2 had got someone special in store for the fans.
The 17 years old “Tulo” from Eberbach, Germany received a special opportunity to ride for Kiefer Racing at this weekend, while Dominique Aegerter had to undergo a surgery and so was declared as unfit to take part.
“They came to me and my tam in Valencia and asked, if we would be interested to participate for them, as Dominique has been told to not be able to start in Jerez. This was for sure something we didn’t expect so the honor and pleasure were huge indeed.”
Augusto Fernández and Edgar Pons, both pilots in the European Championship also, had the better chance of being Aegerter’s replacement for this weekend´s race. Kiefer himself has followed Tulovic from the beginning of his CEV career and is more than satisfied with the boy’s talent.
“It was actually quite clear for us to compete with him. He is a German athlete, we’re a German team; there wouldn´t have been an any better solution”.
Nevertheless, being a rider doesn´t mean that you don’t need to attend school. Yes, a high school math diploma was something the teenager needed to have finished before attending his first ever Moto2 race; which is not as easy to handle as most of the people probably expect. Preparation is still everything.
“It was stressful to bring all my equipment (helmets, leather suits and gloves) down here in such a short amount of time. Even more, because we decided to develop a new leather suit, which was made in Italy; two new helmets, which were made in Germany and two new pairs of fresh gloves made in Switzerland. Three different countries now had the task to send all of these to Barcelona. From Barcelona my team worked as hard and as fast as possible, so that I received it all in time. Flights were not booked yet also. This was another challenge to manage for us. When school was done I headed directly to the airport and luckily caught my flight. I can´t deny, that it has been stressful and exhausting but now I´m happy to be here”.
Arriving in Jerez, it was now time to check out the track; not forgetting the Paddock also, which is a very important aspect too. For all of you that don´t know what hides behind this term: It´s a zone where several teams and riders build up their hospitalities. The hospitalities are required to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Short periods to rest between the trainings, qualifying and races are possible there as well. Lorries with the belonging race equipment are located in there also.
“In the CEV European Championship we do have our trucks close to each other too, but the hospitalities are something you cannot compare that easily. MotoGP has got so many things to be amazed about. The fans, and not forgetting the crowd here right in front of us, that´s simply overwhelming without doubt”.
During Saturdays QP, another surprise for everyone: Lukas achieved P24 with a lap time of 1´43.256. Lorenzo Baldassarri claimed pole position and so the gap between Tulovic and Baldassarri was only 1.3 seconds. It is not easy, but possible. The progress was made, and race day ready to come.
Sunday is race day. The day we all have been waiting for. Warm-Up under dry conditions brought P30 for Lukas and another session of learning.
“The race was different to training and qualification of course. It has been a totally new feeling for me due the switching from my familiar Tech 3 to the KTM bike. At the start I had some struggling but I realized very fast, that the more laps I was on my new machine the better was its and mine collaboration”.
The FIM CEV rider crossed the finish line in P20, and so missed out on scoring points by only a few positions. Anyway, we can all agree that Lukas can be satisfied with his results; he has shown in his Moto2 World Championship debut that he is able to constantly improve and compete for a convincing result.
Xavi Membrives, member of Kiefer Racing, was both surprised and amazed by such a result.
“The boy has something special, which sets him in the group of the successful ones”.
We hope to see more of Tulovic in future races in the World Championship of Moto2.
Pictures by http://www.gp-photo.de