ALT WINS ASSEN RED BULL ROOKIES RACE IN THRILLING FINISH
Florian Alt pulled off a remarkable dash to the finish line to snatch victory from fellow German Philipp Oettl on Friday in the first of two Red Bull Rookies Cup races this weekend at the Dutch circuit of Assen.
His win allowed him to close down the gap in the championship to a single point on Oettl, leaving this very tight competition wide open. Ivo Lopes of Portugal picked up third place as a pack of riders charged the line but he was closely followed by a pack of riders led by American Joe Roberts, Dutch rider Scott Deroue and pole man Karel Hanika of the Czech Republic. The top ten riders were separated by just one second after the 16-lap race on the traditional TT circuit and were urged on by a big crowd who stayed on to watch the young riders deliver one of the most exciting races on the program.
Florian Alt: “I had a pretty good start and could run at the front but I was pushed back in the middle of the race. I fought back to the front to race with Philipp and the others. I knew he was fast and he's very good at getting speed out of the bike. I was leading going into the last lap but I expected him to come past out of the slipstream on the straight. I knew I still had a chance and I was full on the gas very late into the last left hander to pass him and then held the inside into the final chicane.”
While Alt celebrated and Oettl disappointed it was Lorenzo Baldassarri who was perhaps the unluckiest on the day. The young Italian and 2011 Cup Champion high-sided out of the lead pack and dislocated his shoulder. Also disappointed was Hanika who had won the pole position but finished sixth after admitting he had made a mistake in the final lap. The Czech rider is in his first season of the competition and while he has been on the podium three times, he is still waiting for his first victory.
The Red Bull Rookies Cup riders are young teenagers being groomed for a career in the bigger classes of racing and all ride identical KTM 125 RR machines.
Race 2 from Assen starts at 15.30 CET on Saturday.
Results Red Bull Rookies Cup Race One Assen
All riders on KTM 125 RR machines
1. Florian Alt (D), 29:19.121 min (top speed 197.6 km/h)
2. Philipp Oettl (D), +0.505 sec
3. Ivo Lopes (P), +0.523
4. Joe Roberts (USA), +0.660
5. Scott Deroue (NL), +0.692
6. Karel Hanika (CZ), +0.910
7. Bradley Ray (GB), +0.942
8. Marcos Ramirez (E), +0.999
9. Stefano Manzi (I), +1.036
10. Jorge Martin (E), +1.317
Standings Red Bull Rookies Cup after 7 of 15 races
1. Oettl, 109 points
2. Alt, 108
3. Deroue, 98
4. Lopes, 71
5. Hanika, 64