BRILLIANT CLOSING STAGE MANEUVER WINS PHILIPP OETTL 1ST ROUND RED BULL ROOKIES CUP 20
Drawing on all his last season’s experience in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, 14 year-old German rider Philipp Oettl on Saturday made a masterly second last lap move to steal victory in the first round of the 2011 competition on the MotoGP racing circuit of Jerez, Spain. Philipp is the son of former 125 GP rider Peter Oettl.
Oettl played a cat and mouse game with South African Brad Binder in the closing stages of the race after Binder had claimed pole and led throughout. He sat behind the South African waiting his moment and then made the challenge with less than two laps to go. He forced Binder to out-brake himself and go wide the slipped through the gap and headed for the checkered flag.
Oettl made a fine recovery from a bad start to get into the action early in the race. “I had to work hard in the opening laps to get back up into second but then I could find a good rhythm. I just kept going as fast as I could without making any mistakes and the bike was working very well so I felt good about catching Brad. As I caught him I was thinking that I would have to pass him on the brakes into the last corner but I had the chance at the end of the back straight and I took it.”
In contrast, Binder had a brilliant start and looked like being a certain winner for most of the race. But clearly Öttl had a plan. When the race entered its last quarter he continually closed the gap, shaving tenths of a second off each lap until the two riders were locked in battle two laps from the flag and separated by just 0.17 seconds. Oettl’s move was perfectly timed and gave the South African no time to make a counter challenge. Oettl and Binder, both experienced Red Bull Rookies had the race largely to themselves and crossed the line 14.5 seconds ahead of the rest of the field at the conclusion of the 16-lap race. Alan Techer of France completed the podium.
It was a great opening to the fourth edition of this competition, which has proved to be the perfect fast track training for riders wanting to graduate to the small engine Moto GP categories. There are 14 races on the calendar in 2011.
The 25 talented teenagers from 14 countries will be on the track in Jerez again on Sunday for Round 2 in this competition that is a perfect training ground for future stars of the professional racing circuit. Each Red Bull Rookie competes on identical KTM RC 125 machines.
Results Round One 1. Philipp Oettl, Germany, 30 minutes 23.400 seconds
2. Brad Binder, South Africa, +0.567
3. Alan Techer, France, +14.692
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy, +22.052
5. Florian Alt, Germany, +27.579
6. Arthur Sissis, Australia +29.964
7. Xavier Pinsach, Spain, +30.054
8. Aaron España, Spain, +30.214
9. Javier Orellana, Britain, +40.625
10. Lukas Trautmann, Austria, +40.703