CIV Round 1 and 2 took place this past weekend at Misano World Circuit with young American, 13 year old Damian Jigalov piloting a PreMoto3 RMU MOTO 250GP VR46 Riders Academy Motorcycle, and leaving Misano 7th in the Championship standings.
Coming into the weekend, Jigalov had high expectations of himself, knowing that the European competition in PreMoto3 is always pushing the limits.
Practice began on Thursday. Due to unexpected technical problems that persisted for the entire day, Damian was unable to participate. This left him with just one practice session on Friday and Qualifying itself to get comfortable with the track. Jigalov’s last appearance at Misano was during last season’s CIV Rounds. Due to the high costs of racing overseas Damian was not able to participate at the Misano tests prior to this weekend held by the team. As a result, getting back up to speed quickly was the key strategy.
Qualifying was done under ideal conditions, with sunny skies and warm temperatures – allowing the 23 riders competing in PreMoto3 to set a very fast pace, and seeing Damian qualifying in P12. Not satisfied with that, Jigalov felt like he could push harder and improve further in the race, as he was still finding the limits.
On Saturday in Race 1 Damian made good on his expectations by battling his way up to P6 at the checkered flag. After multiple battles he found clear track and was able to improve on his qualifying lap times during the race.
During Sunday’s Race 2, Jigalov’s confidence grew with the bike setup. The RMU MOTO mechanics and entire team worked to ensure he could have a good package and push harder. Starting from P12 he dropped the hammer as the lights went out and found himself towards the front going into turn 1. At turn 2 a rider came under Jigalov and made contact, forcing him to stand the bike up allowing several riders past. Damian leaned the bike back into the corner and was hit by another rider forcing him to stand up a second time, but he managed to save the bike from crashing. As a result he was pushed down the order to P14 after turn 2. Jigalov put his head down and was determined to regain important Championship points and was able to chase down the pack in front of him, lowering his best lap times of the weekend once again. The battle continued to the final corner with a P9 at the finish line.
Damian leaves the weekend feeling strong and confident, knowing that he has the pace to battle with his European rivals for the remainder of the season.
Jigalov will be training with Danny Walker’s American Supercamp School in Denver, Colorado prior to returning to Europe for the next round at Mugello on May 5-6. He also hopes to compete in USA with MotoAmerica in the 300 Super-sport series beginning in July at the Utah Round. Damian will turn 14 years old at the end of June, meeting the minimum age requirements.
“Thank you to my RMU MOTO VR46 Riders Academy team and the mechanics. I always learn something new. Thank you to the title sponsors, Arch Motorcycle Company along with co-sponsors, Biothermal LLC, Barton Construction, WERA and Dainese, AGV. I am looking forward to American Supercamp at the end of April with a goal of learning and pushing harder at the Mugello round. I am also very excited and really looking forward to competing in MotoAmerica in July. Thank you to my manager, Rhys Edwards, my parents and everyone’s support! Thank you to WERA for giving a very strong race series that has gotten me ready to compete at this high level with the Europeans!”