Young Damian Jigalov makes European Debut Days After Turning 12 Years Old

Young American road racer deubuts at Mugello

American Road Racer Damian Jigalov travelled to Italy for his first taste of racing alongside his European peers in the Italian CIV Series, round 3 and 4 at Mugello on the 1st / 2nd July.

The young racer from Illinois turned twelve on Tuesday just two days before his first practice session on Thursday at the legendary Mugello track. Damian worked hard with his new Italian team, taking time to learn the bike and the demanding 5.245 km (3.259 mi) Mugello circuit with its 15 turns and famous long straight. Damian suffered from high speed instability the entire weekend and was unable to find a perfect setup with the limited track time, qualifying 19th for the PreMoto3 race (This class is run as a combined 250 4-stroke and 125 2-stroke class but classified separately).

Damian Jigalov, young American road racer, Mugello, Italian CIV Series
Damian Jigalov turned 12 just days before making his big debut at Mugello.Photo Courtesy of Rhys Edwards

In the first race, the lack of track time hindered Damian’s progress but nevertheless with thirty racers on the grid, he was able to fight his way up the field from 19th to finish the race in 8th overall combined and 5th in his 250 class, an impressive race debut against older more experienced competition. The RMU team was very happy and surprised at Damian’s ability to adapt to the bike and track so quickly. His lap times were same as the front runners but he was unable to catch that group due to his starting position.

In the second race on Sunday he began in 19th position once more. Damian omade his way through the field in the beginning stages of the race. However, another rider pushed Damian wide and requiring him to stand the bike up to avoid crashing. This caused him to lose valuable places in the very competitive CIV series. Damian worked his way back up to 14th with four bikes in a pack that Damian was lining up to pass. Unfortunately the bike went into a high speed wobble and a tank slapper which resulted in a crash, a racing incident that can happen when pushing hard. Damian was taken to the medical centre and suffered lacerations to his hand. He flew back to Chicago on Monday and will begin his recuperation ahead of the Misano race at the end of July.

Damian Jigalov: “I can't wait wait to return to the CIV Series with RMU Moto. The bike and team are amazing and very professional. I’m confident that with more seat time I can battle for podium finishes. I hope to be a full time rider for RMU Moto in 2017. Thank you to my sponsors for making this season happen. Without them I would not be able to race. Now I’m focusing on getting ready for Misano in a few weeks!”