RED BULL MOTOGP ROOKIES CUP: POLE SITTER JORGE MARTIN WINS ROUND 7
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup rider Jorge Martin of Spain deployed solid race tactics to take a pole to flag victory in the first of two races at the Sachsenring in Germany on Saturday.
The race took a dramatic turn in the final stages when championship leader Karel Hanika was bumped out of contention when he looked certain to further extend his points lead.
As usual the race delivered multiple thrills and considerable spills in this competition for tomorrow’s road racing elite. Martin, second in the standings, started on pole and was always a contender for a podium although it was never clear until the closing stages which one of six riders would come out on top. Hanika, older and more experienced than some of the other main contenders rode a good tactical race but the Czech rider was surrounded by a bunch of enthusiastic challengers including Italian Stefano Manzi and Dutch rider Scott Deroue, who eventually took the minor podium places.
Jorge Martin said it had been a tough race and he was mindful that Hanika would be out for revenge when the riders return to the circuit on Sunday for Round 8. “The bike was just great, it was good through qualifying and it was great in the race. It was a very tough race but I knew that I had the speed to run at the front and I also knew I was faster in the last sector. I just had to be in a good position for the last lap and that is how it worked out. For tomorrow the problem will be Hanika again, with him on track it is always going to be very difficult.” All riders compete on the KTM RC250 R 4-stroke Moto3 machine.
While there was little separating the pack of lead riders coming up to the finish, it was still Haneka who seemed certain to take the win but in a dramatic turn of events he made a brief contact with Manzi, slid off the track and landed unceremoniously in the gravel. Martin grabbed the initiative and settled the issue and the race to pick up good points to reinforce his second position in the standings.
While the eventual rewards went to Martin, Manzi and Deroue, others well in the mix in the final stages included Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was a potential winner going into the final lap, Manuel Pagliani of Italy and Spain’s Diego Perez.
The undulating nature of the German circuit was always going to be a challenge for the skills of these teenage riders and it wasn’t long before game plans began to unravel. Australian Olly Simpson, out for much of the season after a crash and injury in one of the opening rounds, was the one who grabbed the initiative as the riders left the start. Simpson emerged to snatch an early lead from Martin, Hanika and Deroue, the front line starters. It was Austria’s Lukas Trautmann and American Joe Roberts who were the first to collide and while Trautmann got back into the race, Roberts was forced to retire. Other incidences soon followed. Yui Watanabbe of Japan was nudged out by American Anthony Alonzo and Simpson spun out in the eleventh lap.
The second race can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world. It starts at 15.30 CET on Sunday and the live streaming begins 10 minutes before the start of the race.
Results Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Sachsenring –Round 7
All riders on KTM RC250 RB machines
1. Jorge Martin (E), 28:44.541 min
2. Stefano Manzi (I), +0.374 sec
3. Scott Deroue (NL), +0.466
4. Manuel Pagliani (I), +0.472
5. Diego Perez (E), +0.643
Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies after 7 of 14 rounds
1. Karel Hanika, 135 points
2. Martin, 118
3. Enea Bastianini (I), 74
4. Manzi, 71
5. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TR), 64