The 17-year-old Spaniard, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Aron Canet entered his second season of the Moto3 World Championship in 2017. A year earlier when he debuted in world championship racing, Canet had already shown amazing talent by consistently challenging the top riders, although he had no championship points to show for it due to crashes in the heated battles.
"It was a crazy year for me!” Canet said of his rookie-season struggles.”
Canet expressed his struggle in his rookie season with a very simple word.
“I could show my speed in qualifying. I was very fast in the first part of the race, but it was difficult to stay in the lead group until the end to fight for the podium. I learned many things in my first year, which is very important for my racing career. In the first laps out on the track, every rider pushes very hard. But if you want to stay in the group, you have to keep calm. In fact, last year in Argentina, I could have been in the top 3, but I crashed with 3 laps to go."
After that, he had varying degrees of success. In some races, he finished within the top 10, while in other races he crashed while chasing the leaders. But in the Australian Grand Prix, Canet was finally on the podium, finishing 3rd. He said it was the best race for him in 2016.
"In Australia, I improved my rhythm in the lead group and followed them very comfortably. This year, the fight is tight with many guys in the lead group, but I am confident to follow them in every race. And no crash, for sure!”
He was true to his words at the season-opener in Qatar. Canet contested a fierce battle in the lead group, and crossed the checkered line in 4th place. Although he was 0.034s off a podium finish, the result gave his confidence a boost.
"I am satisfied because my objective for this season is to consistently be in the lead group, so the result in Qatar was okay for me. We will keep this rhythm in the next races."
For the second round, in Argentina, Canet started from 4th on the grid to finish 11th. In the following race, in the United States, Canet took pole position for the first time this year. However, he fell and retired on Lap 4 during the race.
The championship then returned to Europe, for Round 4, his home race, the Spanish Grand Prix. The race was a classic Moto3 ordeal with nail-biting battles. In the lead group, Canet made a fantastic move at the final turn on the final lap to overtake his competitors and crossed the finish line ahead. It was his first ever victory in world championship racing.
“I am very very happy. It's the happiest day in my life. The strategy of the final part of the race was perfect, I pushed more in the closing stages. So I overtook Joan [Mir] and Romano [Fenati], I am very happy. It was very difficult to overtake two riders, but I braked well and exited the corner well. When I was on the straight, I didn't care about winning, but just pushed hard. I thought they might overtake me, but finally it was impossible!"
He kept up his momentum for the following race in Le Mans. Starting from a difficult 12th place grid on Row 4, the young Spaniard improved his positions lap by lap, and finally crossed the finish line in 2nd place.
“I was rather far back, but I recovered ground and on the last lap I was up into third. Another rider crashed, giving me second place. I didn't want to be leading in that group because there was a good chance of losing my position, but I knew I had to close off the gaps. This podium feels like a win, because I love this circuit. We hope that, working this way, many more podiums will come.”
As of the end of the French Grand Prix, Aron Canet is 3rd in the championship standings. Expectations for the 17-year-old Spaniard are building up for the races to come.