TWO WINS FOR HANIKA IN ASSEN!
Czech rider Karel Hanika had a great weekend at the Assen racing circuit this weekend winning both rounds five and six of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup to further extend his lead in the championship points.
But nothing came easy for the 17-year-old Czech talent as he picked up his second and third victories for the season on a circuit that he clearly enjoyed. His main rivals for the top podium spot on both Friday’s and Saturday’s races were Italian Stefano Manzi, Jorge Martin of Spain and local hero Scott Deroue.
The ambitious young Italian Manzi looked very much like he was going to challenge Hanika in the first race of the weekend and engaged in a tough one-to-one battle right up until the final corner of the sweeping Dutch circuit. But his challenge ended in disappointment when he slid off the track in the final corner allowing Hanika a clear run to the flag. Manzi after race one: “I was going into the corner too fast but it was either that or let Karel win. It was a great race though, I did not push so hard from the start because the track temperature was so cold and I wanted to be sure the tires were working well."
Deroue also went out in the closing stages but it was a welcome return for him to be among the leading group. The incident allowed Spanish duo Jorge Martin and Marcos Ramirez to pick up the minor podiums on Friday.
But on Saturday it was the young Italian Manzi who again challenged Hanika and this time he saw it right through to the checkered flag in another race that underlined the thrilling nature of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. He finished second after an all out battle with Hanika but the Czech rider, with more seasons in the competition under his wheels is an increasingly wily race tactician and knew just when to make his move. Jorge Martin, second on Friday, returned to the podium in third place to wrap up a strong weekend on the traditional and very popular circuit. Home favorite Deroue finished an unrewarded fourth but was still enthusiastically supported by the Dutch crowd.
Hanika now has an impressive 42-point lead over Martin with six of the 14 races completed. Riders next return to the track on July 13-14 at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany.
Results Red Bull Rookies Cup Assen – Round 5
All riders on KTM RC250 RB machines
1. Karel Hanika (CZ), 28:51.807 min
2. Jorge Martin (E), +3.523 sec
3. Marcos Ramirez (E), +6.047
4. Jordan Weaving (RSA), +6.113
5. Joe Roberts (USA), +6.189
Results Red Bull Rookies Cup Assen – Round 6
1. Hanika, 28:55.415 min
2. Stefano Manzi (I), +0.282 sec
3. Martin, +0.423
4. Scott Deroue (NL), +0.586
5. Diego Perez (E), +0.758
Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup afer 6 of 14 rounds
1. Hanika, 135 points
2. Martin, 93
3. Enea Bastianini (I), 65
4. Bradley Ray (UK), 56
5. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TR), 54