Dani Ruiz won his second Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race with a near perfect ride at Assen. The 18 year old Spaniard was granted victory over Danny Kent in the stewards room after the 16 year old Briton was penalised for overtaking him into the final corner while the yellow flag was being waved. 16 year old Briton Harry Stafford was third, making his first visit to a Rookie podium.
The drama of a revised result was nothing compared with the on-track action though as 7 riders made the 16 lap race every bit as thrilling as Friday’s clashfest. Again it was Swedish 16 year old Alex Kristiansson who got the best start from the front row and even had an advantage of a few bike lengths as the pack charged round the first lap.
Kristiansson was soon caught though and the fight was on with Ruiz and Kent each having a go at the front while pole man Hiura had another terrible first few laps and dropped back as far as 10th before charging through to make his presence felt in the lead group.
By the time the 15 year old Japanese had done that 7 men had broken away. With Ruiz, Kent, Kristiansson and Hiura had gone Stafford along with the 1st and 2nd place finishers from Friday; Jake Gagne and Kevin Calia.
With just 6 laps to go Hiura and Kristiansson were unlucky. Hiura’s engine stopped in the middle of the back straight because the fuel line came off. In his slipstream was Kristiansson who had to slow and avoid him thus losing contact with the lead pack.
After several failed attempts to get clear at the front Ruiz managed to open up about a half second advantage with a lap and a half to go. Kent was the more determined of the chasing pack, he deposed Stafford from 2nd and dragged them all back onto the Spaniard’s tail for the final lap.
Gagne was at the back of the 6 man group and not really in with too much chance of repeating his Friday win as they charged back towards the start and finish where he had played his brilliant overtaking move the day before.
It all came down to the last few corners again. Ruiz had the lead but Kent had his measure. Fast through the sweeping left hand he attacked Ruiz on the brakes up the inside into the chicane. Allowing that he didn’t see the yellow flags it was a perfect move and he raced across the line in front of Ruiz, Stafford, Gagne, Calia and Kristiansson.
Kent was happy with his ride. “It was a great race and it was good to be towards the front of the group and work out where my strong and weak points were on the track. I realised that I was stronger than Dani going into the final chicane so I knew that I had to put myself behind him on the last lap and that’s what I did.”
“It was a better race really than yesterday because the pace was faster and not many of the guys could go with us, so I enjoyed it a lot more. Of course I’m not happy about loosing the win, I never saw any flags otherwise of course I wouldn’t overtake,” concluded Kent after the stewards meeting.
Ruiz stepped down from the second spot of the podium and was philosophical about what happened. “It was a great race I really enjoyed it, when I got to the front I tried to break away but I couldn’t get clear. I was leading on the last lap but Danny came past into the last chicane, I could see the flags being waved so I didn’t expect him to pass, it was very confusing.”
Naturally Stafford was thrilled with 3rd. “I leant a lot from finishing 4th yesterday, I knew that I had to be a bit more aggressive to get into the right position for the last laps. I got into second and was chasing after Dani but made a couple of mistakes, then Danny Kent came past again. I thought about trying to get ahead at the last corners but with Danny Kent also trying to pass Dani Ruiz it was all too tight and I had to be happy with 3rd.
Gagne flashed across the line 4th and wasn’t thrilled. “It just didn’t work out like yesterday I was there in the group but the pace was faster than yesterday and when it came to the final lap I wasn’t close enough when it mattered to make a move for the front, that’s just the way it was,” concluded the laconic Californian.
The battle for 7th was just as intense and actually had started out as part of a 14 man fight for the lead early in the race. The 7th place fight also all changed at the last corner with Alejandro Pardo passing under that yellow flag and being demoted by the stewards to 8th giving South African 14 year old Brad Binder back his 7th place. Taylor Mackenzie and Xavier Pinsach collided coming out of the chicane in that group and both went down leaving Josh Hook to take 9th ahead of Alessio Cappella.
Results in full:
# RIDER NAT. GAP TOTAL TIME
1 Daniel RUIZ ESP 28’55.822 (150.717 Km/h)
2 Danny KENT GBR 0.088 28’55.734 (150.725 Km/h)
3 Harry STAFFORD GBR 0.157 28’55.891 (150.711 Km/h)
4 Jacob GAGNE USA 0.413 28’56.147 (150.689 Km/h)
5 Kevin CALIA ITA 0.466 28’56.200 (150.684 Km/h)
6 Alexander KRISTIANSSON SWE 1.570 28’57.304 (150.589 Km/h)
7 Brad BINDER RSA 9.230 29’04.964 (149.928 Km/h)
8 Alejandro PARDO ITA 9.212 29’04.946 (149.929 Km/h)
9 Joshua HOOK AUS 9.380 29’05.114 (149.915 Km/h)
10 Arthur SISSIS AUS 12.762 29’08.496 (149.625 Km/h)
11 Philipp OETTL GER 13.415 29’09.149 (149.569 Km/h)
12 Niccolo ANTONELLI ITA 14.866 29’10.600 (149.445 Km/h)
13 Florian ALT GER 32.375 29’28.100 (147.965 Km/h)
14 James FLITCROFT GBR 32.391 29’28.125 (147.964 Km/h)
15 Taylor MACKENZIE GBR 36.564 29’32.298 (147.615 Km/h)
16 Antonio CHIARI BRA 1’00.933 29’56.667 (145.613 Km/h)
17 Xavier PINSACH ESP 1 lap 27’19.239 (149.623 Km/h)
18 Tomas VAVROUS CZE 3 laps 23’59.010 (147.716 Km/h)
19 Xavier FIGUERAS ESP 5 laps 20’38.252 (145.255 Km/h)
20 Daijiro HIURA JPN 6 laps 18’10.743 (149.908 Km/h)
21 Deni CUDIC AUT 15 laps 2’41.534 (101.224 Km/h)
Fastest Lap: Kevin CALIA 15 1’46.640 (153.330 Km/h)
Circuit Record Lap: Kevin CALIA 2010 1’47.780 (151.709 Km/h)
Circuit Best Lap: Kevin CALIA 2010 1’46.640 (153.330 Km/h)
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