HANIKA WINS FINAL 2012 RED BULL MOTOGP ROOKIES CUP OUTING
Czech rider Karel Hanika wrapped up his season on Sunday with a victory in the final Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race for 2012 on the Aragon, Spain racing circuit, crossing the line ahead of Champion Florian Alt and Austrian Lukas Trautmann.
Florian Alt of Germany was declared the 2012 Cup winner after Saturday’s penultimate race, which was won by Lukas Trautmann.
The young riders in this series designed to springboard them into mainstream MotoGP careers, all ride identical KTM 125 RR machines and the race also signaled what is probably the final 2-stroke race in MotoGP. The series continues next year on KTM 4-stroke machines similar to the Moto3 Grand Prix bikes racing for the first time this season.
The Rookies have delivered a great series of tightly fought races and Sunday was no exception. Pole man Karel Hanika got a good start but he never escaped the pressure applied by Alt, Trautmann and a number of other riders all in the mix for podium places. They also went into the race after a weekend of mixed conditions that offered less than the usual track time for free practice and qualifying.
Alt qualified back at ninth but in fine and sunny conditions he was soon at the front trading places with Hanika and Trautmann. Spaniard Marcos Ramirez and Japan’s You Watanabe, the only girl in the field, were both well in the mix. This group opened up a slight lead during the first half of the race but it did not last.
Belgian rider Livio Loi who had put in a stunning ride on Saturday but went out after an electrical issue with his bike, was also well in the reckoning. He and Spaniard Jorge Martin cut their way through the pack and were in the lead group for the second half of the race. Others were Dutch rider Scott Deroue and Germany’s Philipp Oettl who were both in the battle with Hanika for second place in the final standings. Oettl went out in front but got out of position and slipped down the order in the space of half a lap.
In the final lap it was Hanika, Alt and Trautmann, and the Czech was in front going into the final sweeping left-hander. Alt also had great drive and pulled alongside Hanika but just couldn't get ahead as the pair towed Trautmann across the finish line in third place.
“Such a tough race and so much fun,” said Hanika. “I had a good start but then Lukas and Florian caught up and we had a great battle, also Yui, she was riding great, they all were, very fair and a fun battle.”
While some of this year's stars eye a future in Moto3 chasing the example set by ex Rookies such as Aragon Moto3 winner Luis Salom, others, like Loi, Trautmann and Hanika, will have more chances for victories in 2013 on the new 4-stroke KTM 250 RBR.
Results Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Aragon
All riders on KTM 125 RR machines
1. Karel Hanika (CZ), 31:40.592 min
2. Florian Alt (D), +0.025 sec
3. Lukas Trautmann (A), +0.076
4. Marcos Ramirez (E), +0.134
5. Philipp Oettl (D), +0.184
6. Lorenzo Baldassarri (I), +0.541
7. Scott Deroue (NL), +0.590
8. Stefano Manzi (I), +0.626
9. Bradley Ray (GB), +1.040
10. Jorge Martin (E), +1.088
Final Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2012
1. Alt, 233 points (Cup Champion)
2. Deroue, 177
3. Hanika, 173
4. Oettl, 159
5. Trautmann, 153
6. Ramirez, 153