RED BULL MOTOGP ROOKIES CUP: OETTL OUT AND SISSIS IN
The Grand Prix of Portugal this coming weekend sees the 3rd and 4th races of the 2011 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
The Estoril circuit produced an epic battle last time the Cup visited Portugal in 2008 when Daijiro Hiura, JD Beach and Sturla Fagerhaug crossed the line covered by 5 hundredths of a second.
Close racing is common in the Rookies Cup and the fast teenagers take the trip to the most western circuit in the calendar confident in the circuit knowledge they gained in the three day pre season test in March. The circuit is well known for being able to throw everything at the contestants and that is just what happened at the test so it was a great learning experience.
Unfortunately two of the Rookies must sit out the Estoril races. Cup points leader Philipp Oettl is missing the event due to the broken collarbone he sustained testing his German Championship bike on April 9th and Florian Alt will be spectating as he recovers from the nasty finger injury he suffered at the opening Rookies weekend in Jerez. Xavier Pinsach and Javier Orellana both sustained shoulder injuries in Jerez but are due to be fit for the coming weekend.
With Oettl out, Arthur Sissis, Aaron Espana and Brad Binder, who trail him in the table, will be out to hack into the 14 year old German's points advantage. Sissis, the 15 year old Australian has a 10 point deficit but his win in the second race at Jerez and the fact that he was quickest at the test in both wet and dry makes him the favourite for Portugal.
In the wet it was Binder, the 15 year old South African and 13 year old Spaniard Espana who chased Sissis during the Estoril test but in the dry the danger man was Xavier Pinsach the 14 year old Spaniard. Pinsach did not enjoy the first race weekend of the year, recording a 7th in the first race and an injured, but not broken, right collarbone in the 2nd. A reminder of his great form at the test should be just the boost he needs to bounce back into the title chase in Portugal.
With 44 TV broadcasters around the world showing the race action there is ample opportunity to follow the young heroes and for those not covered by the spread of live TV the live race feed can always be seen on www.redbullrookiescup.com where the latest news and information can also be found.
After 3 sessions of practice on Friday this weekend's first race is on Saturday April 30th at 16.30 CET and on Sunday May 1st the race starts at 16.00 CET.