BALDASSARRI SEALS RED BULL ROOKIES CUP RACE 2 IN JEREZ
Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri ended his weekend on the Jerez racing circuit with a flourish when he sealed victory in the second of two opening races in the 2012 Red Bull Rookies Cup in a near photo finish ahead of Portugal’s Ivo Lopes and Spain’s Diego Perez.
Baldassari’s win gives him a slender one point lead in the overall standings at the close of the first race weekend as the 15-year-old pursues his second consecutive title in this competition that grooms talented young riders for a future racing career.
“It was a fantastic race,” said Baldassarri. “I was right in the middle of a very big group and we were all fighting so hard. What was great for me is that I found the rhythm with the KTM again and was comfortable on it. I managed to work my way to the front. In the last laps I knew it would be difficult and at the last corner I just tried to get the perfect drive and hoped.”
With Baldassarri taking the race by just five thousandths of a second it was obvious that Lopes was less thrilled with the result. “It was just an incredible race. I think we were 20 guys all in one pack, unbelievable. It was so tough, I just kept pushing, pushing, pushing until I could work my way to the front. Then I went for the win, I thought I had it as I crossed the line – then I saw Baldassarri. At least I go to my home track knowing I can do it. Only winning will be OK there.” For Perez it was his second podium in two days and certainly a confidence booster as he heads from his home race in Estoril next weekend.
Florian Alt, winner of the first race had to retire with an electrical problem after fighting his way through from mid pack to the lead. Others forced out of the race included Kyle Ryde and Scott Deroue who were up the front of the pack but knocked out on Lap 10 when Spain’s Aaron Espana was forced off line by the pack at the end of the back straight.
Bradley Ray, the 14 year old Briton who slid out of the lead of Saturday's race was once again one of the leaders but he got caught up in the three bike incident on lap 10. “Espana went down in front of me and I jumped his bike, I was thrown off but was lucky as I landed back on the bike and managed to stay on the track. I lost a lot of ground but I fought back and got with them just on the last lap,” Ray said who finished fifth.
The race, punctuated with incidents as the ambitious young riders fought to make their mark delivered yet another example of thrilling track action in what has come to be known as one of the hardest fought junior competitions in today’s motorsport.
Riders again have the chance to display their talent when they reconvene in Estoril next weekend for races 3 & 4 of the 2012 competition.
Results Red Bull Rookies Cup Jerez Race 2
All riders on KTM 125 RR machines
1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (I)
2. Ivo Lopes (P)
3. Diego Perez (E)
4. Philipp Oettl (D)
5. Bradley Ray (GB)
Standings Red Bull Rookies Cup after Round 2
1. Baldassarri, 33 points
2. Perez, 32
3. Lopes, 31
4. Marcos Ramie (E), 30
5. Florian Alt (D), 25
6. Oettl, 23