ALT TRIUMPHS AT SILVERSTONE IN OPENING RED BULL ROOKIES CUP RACE
Germany’s Florian alt walked away with first place in the first of two Red Bull Rookies Cup races on Saturday at the traditional British circuit of Silverstone. The 16-year old rider triumphed over two home town boys, Bradley Ray and Kyle Ryde whose minor podium places lifted the spirits of the British fans.
Riders were buffeted with gusty wind and the constant threat of race, which threw the race into chaos at the outset when a sudden rain shower caused more than half of the riders to crash. The race was stopped while riders returned to the pits to change to rain tires only to see the track try out. Alt gained an early advantage but he wasn't able to break clear and it soon became a six-man battle for the lead that included pole man Karel Hanika, Scott Deroue of Netherlands, Italian Stefano Manzi as well as Ryde and Ray.
The group then dominated the race, constantly jockeying for position and it became clear that Alt would not be able to make a break. Then as the 10-lap race drew to its conclusion the rapid wear of the rain tires became an increasing issue. Then just as the race began to develop into a typical last dash to the finish by a whole group of hungry young riders, Manzi fell in the second last corner and in the process also took out Hanika. Neither was injured, Hanika remounted to finish tenth but Manzi, who was having his first experience in the leading pack of Rookies, saw his race come to an end.
“I never expected to be running at the front,” admitted Stefano Manzi frankly. “I just feel so good on the KTM with the Dunlop tires that I was happy to go that speed, it didn't seem to be too hard. Then at the last corners we were all braking together and I lost the front,” he explained after having made the same move cleanly and effectively on many previous laps.
Bradley Ray was of course thrilled with 2nd and admitted there was no plan. “I just rode as hard as I could and on the last lap tried to get to the front, there was no chance to plan anything, just brake as late as possible into the last corners and it worked out.”
Kyle Ryde agreed that it was not a tactical race. “At the first start I knew what I wanted to do, get ahead and get clear. After the restart that wasn't possible, I could run with the others no problem but there was no chance to get away. Then on the last lap, coming into the last section we were all on the brakes, Scott was later than anyone but went wide, I got clipped by Manzi's bike and just had to get round the corner. A great race though and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
With the race win Alt has taken the points lead in the championship from Deroue with 70 points to 67. Oettl is 3rd on 64 after crossing the line 4th ahead of Deroue.
The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies is a competition for up and coming riders and for the best, a fast track into the senior ranks of MotoGP. All riders are on KTM 125 RR machines.
The second race of the Silverstone weekend starts Sunday 17.00 CET and can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Results Red Bull Rookies Cup Silverstone – Race 1
All riders on KTM 125 RR machines
1. Florian Alt (D)
2. Bradley Ray (GB)
3. Kyle Ryde (GB)
4. Philipp Oettl (D)
5. Scott Deroue (NL)