RED BULL MOTOGP ROOKIE JOE ROBERTS SNATCHES FIRST RACE VICTORY AT BRNO
Fourteen year old American Joe Roberts on Saturday won an all or nothing dash to the finish on Saturday in the first of two Red Bull MotoGP Rookies races on the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.
It was the young rider’s first podium in the competition and he won in front of Arthur Sissis of Australia and Tomas Vavrous of the Czech Republic.
The race was a two-part affair after the original start was red flagged when rain started to fall, calling in the riders who were out on slicks. The 14-lap race was then restarted after riders had changed tires and all that remained was a five-lap race to the finish on the tricky and undulating traditional MotoGp circuit.
The American rider went into the lead in the shortened race and in the third lap and charged ahead on the rain-drenched circuit. It was only Sissis that could stay with him and the Australian looked like taking the glory. But Roberts engaged in a tight battle for the win in the closing stages of the race and managed to slip by Sissis just before the home straight, picking up enough drive to propel him over the finish line. The wet race was also good for Sissis as he now regains control of the overall standings in what is a two-rider competition between him and Lorenzo Baldassarri of Italy for the title. Baldassarri finished in sixth.
Joe Roberts said the result had turned around after his weekend. He said he wasn’t able to find his rhythm the first time they were out on the track and was in last place. “I wasn't happy that it rained but then on the sighting lap I realized there was quite a lot of grip. I just had to go for it. Arthur passed me at the last corner but as I saw him go wide I had the chance to cut it tight and go for the line.”
Riders have just two more races, one of which is tomorrow Sunday on the Brno circuit, to conclude the season. Sissis goes into the second race at Brno with a 4-point lead on the 14-year-old Italian rider. All riders in the competition, which grooms and prepares riders for a career in to racing, are onboard identical KTM 125 machines.
Results Race One (of two Brno)
1, Joe Roberts (USA) 12 minutes 41.800 seconds
2, Arthur Sissis (AUS) +0.030
3, Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +1.508
4, Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +1.560
5, Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +3.292
6, Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +4.662
7, Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +7.265
8, Javier Orellana (GBR) +9.453
9, Philipp Oettl (GER) +13.197
10, Kevin Argino (ITA) +13.327