In today’s Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European SuperFinale Superpole at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, MotoAmerica rider Kayla Yaakov qualified in the Top 10 for tomorrow’s two races. Yaakov, who competed for Altus Motorsports in this past season’s MotoAmerica SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Championship, finished eighth in the morning free practice session at Portimao.
One of only 25 riders aged 14 through 20 selected from all over the world to compete in the event, Yaakov spent the day familiarizing herself again with the Yamaha YZF-R3 after her MotoAmerica season aboard a Kawasaki Ninja 400. The Pennsylvanian competed aboard a Yamaha R3 in the 2021 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup.
“Day one went pretty well,” Yaakov said. “Free practice was really good. This is a new track for me. It’s been over a year since I’ve been on a Yamaha R3, and it was a lot of fun today. I like (Portimao) a lot. It’s basically a combination of my two favorite tracks–Ridge Motorsports Park and Barber–so, I was really excited when I walked the track. Our first session was really good. We were P8. Going into our Superpole session, I had a lot of confidence. Superpole went pretty well. I had some good, fast laps going until the red flag. After the red flag, it was a little bit more difficult to find clear track, but I still went a little bit faster, and I’m within a second of pole. So, P10, and it’s all really close, so I’m really excited going into the races tomorrow. We have two races, and I’ll be starting 10th in both, and it should be good. Everyone’s really close. P4 is only about four tenths (of a second) from me. Everyone is right there, so we’ll see. I’m excited.”
Yaakov and the other 24 young riders will have the opportunity to show their talents again tomorrow in front of the World Superbike fans and paddock at Portimao, with two feature races on the schedule.