Kenny Noyes finished seventh and scored his first World Championship points in the Moto2 class of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez de la Frontera, but his charge to the front and long battle in the midst of a swarm of established Grand prix stars was promise of more to come from the American from Barcelona.
Riding his red and white Jack & Jones by Antonio Banderas Harris, he came from ninth off the grid and fought his way into the lead on lap six of the 17 lap race.
Although he led across the line five times, the lead was constantly being swapped around the 2.7 mile Spanish circuit with Kenny bringing roars from the crowd as he dove under or round around established Grand Prix stars like Toni Elias, Shoya Tomizawa and former World Champion Thomas Luthi, sometimes passing two riders at a time.
Kenny, who was one of the fallen in a nine-rider crash on lap two that brought out red flags and led to a full restart, found himself at a slight disadvantage on top speed and had to abuse the brakes to make up for lost yards..
This resulted in severe wear on the front tire and meant that, at the end, he was dropped back to seventh in the shuffle of the final laps. Former MotoGP rider (the last privateer to beat Valentino Rossi) Toni Elías eventually took the victory over championship leader and Qatar winner Shoya Tomizawa.
His result was the best finish by an American rider in the intermediate class (250/Moto2) since Kenny Roberts Jr. took fifth in the European Grand Prix at the Circuit of Catalunya in October of 1995.
Kenny Noyes (7th, +2.215, FASTED LAP 1’44.992) says: "This is a wild class. I was only three tenths of a second off the pole but that put me 9th, on the third row. I knew from the race in Qatar that you have to fight for every inch with these guys so, after getting taken down in the big crash at Dry Sack on lap 2, I was glad to get a second chance when we went for a full restart. I got a better start and when I found myself in the lead coming into the stadium section and saw and heard that huge crowd, it was like a dream. I was fighting for the win out there today and our Harris works so well in the corners and especially on the brakes with the bike leaned in hard, that I was able to take back in the braking the meters we were losing down the straights."
"Toni Elias kept signalling for me to tuck in behind him and follow him so we could both pull away, but I knew if I didn´t do everything I could to pass anybody I could on every corner that I would get caught up in the pack that was running right behind us. I had to use the brakes so hard that I ended up tearing up the tire and couldn’t finish this race the way I wanted to. In general, I’m happy because we showed we can run with these guys, but the goal is to win races. This is a track where I have won in the Spanish Nationals riding 1000cc bikes, but with this bike and this team I think we can get on the pace even at the tracks we don’t know….like the next one at Le Mans, a track I have only seen on TV and raced on Playstation."
Moto2 Jerez Results
1 – 24 Toni ELIAS 29’58.726
2 – 48 Shoya TOMIZAWA +0.190
3 – 12 Thomas LUTHI +0.261
4 – 72 Yuki TAKAHASHIJ +0.558
5 – 3 Simone CORSI +1.449
6 – 40 Sergio GADEA +1.496
7 – 9 Kenny NOYES +2.215
8 – 60 Julián SIMON +2.576