RAZGATLIOGLU STEALS IMPRESSIVE ROUND 6 WIN AT SACHSENRING
Promising Turkish teenager Toprak Razgatlioglu stole the limelight and the victory and impressed the crowd on Saturday when the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup took to the Sachsenring circuit for Round 6 of the championship.
The race was one of the hardest fought so far in this year’s Cup competition and was not decided until the lead group charged to the finish line. Joan Mir of Spain took second and Italy’s Stefano Manzi picked up the minor podium place in the mad dash to the finish.
The race was eventful from the opening seconds. With Friday’s qualifying cancelled because of a flash thunderstorm over the German track, it was 16-year-old Australian Ollie Simpson who picked up pole position by way of being the fastest in free practice. He got away well but his race was over in the opening stages of the first lap during a series of race incidents that also claimed Cup points leader Jorge Martin of Spain. Martin did rejoin the race at dead last and fought hard to get back in the points. He closed a gap of some five seconds and went on to finish a creditable twelfth and salvage enough points to stay in front of the competition.
As the race developed it was Manuel Pagliani of Italy who seemed to take a firm control. In fact he had a commanding lead throughout most of the 19-lap race. With just a handful of laps to go and seemingly a certain winner with a lead of around eight seconds, Pagliani also ended in the gravel and threw the race open to a tight pack of six riders all looking for a podium.
Meanwhile Spain’s Oscar Gutierrez, competing on the Sachsenring for the first time was a major player in the following group and looked a potential winner in the final phase of the race. Japan’s Soushi Mihara and UK rider Bradley Ray were also contenders going down to the last laps.
Toprak Razgatlioglu at 17 and one of the biggest and heaviest riders in the field had been leading the second group. He managed to catch the group of three leaders, brining with him the other two main contenders. Suddenly there were six potential race winners. Razgatlioglu then put in a masterful display of daring late braking to stay in contention for the win. It was clear that the race was too close to call as the six riders made the final dash to the finish line and the Turkish rider was clearly aware that the lighter challengers were looking for the slipstream advantage that could decide the outcome.
The lead swapped back and forth as riders delivered a thrilling final lap but Razgatlioglu remained committed. He rode hard into the remaining corners, braking late and claimed the inside line then crossed the line just 0.018 seconds in front of Mir.
“That was so exciting,” said Razgatlioglu. “It was such a tough race and by the end the rear was sliding everywhere. I thought the others were going to pass me on the last lap, down the hill, like they did earlier but when they didn't I knew I could win it. I was so nervous on that last lap I could feel my legs shaking.” It was the Turkish teenager’s first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies cup victory.
Riders contest a second Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race in Germany on Sunday.
Next Round: August 16-17, 2014 – Brno, CZE (Round 8 & 9)
Results Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Sachsenring
All riders on KTM RC250 RB Moto3 machines
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR), 28:41.989 min (19 laps)
2. Joan Mir (ESP), +0.018 sec
3. Stefano Manzi (ITA), +0.169
4. Soushi Mihara (JAP), +0.339
5. Oscar Gutierrez (ESP), +0.494
6. Bradley Ray (GBR), +0.521
7. Aris Michail (GER), +22.207
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA), +26.122
9. Marc Garcia (ESP), +28.891
10. Simon Danilo (FRA), +43.206
Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup after 6 of 14 rounds
1. Jorge Martin (ESP), 105 points
2. Mihara, 91
3. Mir, 76
4. Manzi, 72
5. Manuel Pagliani (ITA), 65