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CIV-Race 1 Imola

Leopard Junior Italia Team makes steps forward in Race 1 in Imola

After a long two-month break, the Leopard Junior Italia Team has returned racing in Italian ELF CIV Moto3 Championship, as the third round of the season is taking place at the Autodromo Internazionale "Enzo e Dino Ferrari", in Imola. Thanks to the experience gained so far, the team made some progress in the first race of the weekend, during which the temperature was over 30°C.

After qualifying in seventh place with one lap in 1'59.544, Joel Kelso proved his determination during Race 1. The talented Australian finished the first lap in 13th place, due to a bad start, but then he constantly
made up positions till crossing the finish line in 9th place overall, as he finished 8th in the Moto3 standings. This result is the best one achieved by the young Leopard Junior Italia Team rider this year and for sure, it's a huge boost of confidence for the remainder of the weekend.

On the other side, Matteo Ripamonti wasn't allowed to participate in Race 1. Following a crash at Turn 5 during the second Qualifying Practice session, the Italian was declared "unfit" by the medical staff. Tomorrow in the morning, Matteo will undergo further examinations, in order to see whether he can take part in Race 2 or not. Tomorrow, the
second race of Italian ELF CIV Moto3 Championship in Imola will start at 14:45 (CET) and it will last 12 laps.

Joel Kelso (Team Leopard Junior Italia - #66 Honda NSF250RW)

"Today's race was a good turning point for us. We were quite strong during all the practice sessions and during the race, I constantly improved my rhythm. The final result is an important boost of confidence ahead of Race 2. We'll try to make some more progress tomorrow."

Matteo Ripamonti (#5 Team Leopard Junior Italia - Honda NSF250RW)

"Unfortunately, the crash I had during QP2 ruled me out of Race 1. I'm not 100% fit, but I hope to participate in Race 2 and score some good points for the championship standings."

Alessandro Tonucci (Team Leopard Junior Italia - Team Manager)

"Today's race represents a fresh start for Joel. The wildcard participation we had in Moto3 Junior World Championship was important to find the right way to help him in his growth. This 'reset' helped him in re-gaining some confidence and today we saw the first results. During the Qualifying Practice sessions, Joel constantly had a good pace, as his laptimes were constantly faster than 2'00.. During the race, he made a good improvement. He's not riding at his best yet, following the mistakes made in the first races, but now we're going in the right direction. In our opinion, so far the weekend has been very positive for him. Hopefully, he'll make some more progress in Race 2. For what concerns Matteo, unfortunately he had a highside crash at Turn 5, during QP2, and he wasn't allowed to start Race 1. He will undergo further medical checks tomorrow and the whole team hopes he'll be declared 'fit to race'."