Arthur Sissis charged to his 2nd Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup victory of the year at Estoril on Sunday. The 15 year old Australian was chased all the way by 14 year old Italian Lorenzo Baldassari. The duo raced away from an intense battle for 3rd that went in favour of 14 year old Spaniard Xavi Pinsach on the final lap.
Saturday’s winner Brad Binder led from the start as he did 24 hours earlier but this time the 15 year old South African fell on lap 2 as he tried to take advantage of the clear road ahead of him. He remounted but needed repairs at the pits before he could finish the race, which he did but scored no points.
That propels Cup leader Sissis into a 27 point lead over Baldassarri with Binder a further 8 points adrift, tied in 3rd with 14 year old German Philipp Oettl who missed this weekend through injury. Sissis was thrilled with his 3rd podium of the season. “I really enjoyed that, we’d made some changes to the bike after yesterday and it was a lot better but I knew that racing with Brad was not going to be easy. He got another great start and I just tried to go with him. Then he highsided in front of me and that made things a lot easier.”
“I still had Lorenzo on my tail and I knew from my pit board he was right with me. I didn’t want to make any mistakes so I waited till the last few laps to really push and try and get away. I was still expecting him to try and outbrake me so I was covering the inside line on the last few laps. I looked behind after crossing the line and he wasn’t that close,” concluded the speedway star fast becoming an accomplished road racer.
Just as it had been yesterday the battle behind the leaders was the most intense. This time it was even more crucial as it was for the final rostrum place. It was the same players, Alan Techer, Ivo Lopes, Joakim Niemi and Xavi Pinsach with the position changing at every corner. Portuguese 14 year old Lopes highsided out of the action on lap 14 of the 16.
That left a trio fighting for 3rd and on the final lap Finnish 16 year old Niemi made his bid braking for the chicane. He had third for a second but the front tucked and he was down. That took 16 year old Frenchman Techer wide and handed 3rd to Pinsach. “It was a great fight again,” said the Spaniard. “I tried everything to get 3rd and then it just worked out that way. Much better than the way it worked out yesterday,” he said referring to the fact that he had lost 4th on the run in to the line.
Techer was frustrated to lose the 3rd that should probably have been his. “Of course I am disappointed, I thought I had it on the last lap then Joakim came inside, fell and I almost ran into him. Still that is racing, we had another great battle and I got some good points. I’m looking forward to Silverstone.”
Binder was obviously terribly disappointed missing out on a perfect weekend after his pole position and a dominant win on Saturday. “I made a mistake back shifting coming into the corner, I didn’t get it down enough gears. I tried to carry more momentum to keep it going, I didn’t want to change down in the middle of the corner but then the back came around and threw me off. I knew that I’d hurt my finger pretty much right away. I came into the pits to fix the bike and I really wanted to finish the race. The finger was painful but it’s just a small fracture in the little finger on my right hand and I could race tomorrow if I had to.”
With a five week gap to the next races at Silverstone on June 11th and 12th all injured men should be fully fit so there will be 25 Rookies on the grid. For those who don’t want to wait that long for race action the first 4 races of the year can be watched on www.redbullrookiescup.com.
Race 2 Classification
1. Arthur Sissis (AUS) 29 minutes 57.014 seconds
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +0.867
3. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +13.670
4. Alan Techer (FRA) +14.396
5. Joe Roberts (USA) +25.215
6. Lukas Trautmann (AUT) +25.219
7. Joakim Niemi (FIN) +27.143
8. Aaron Espana (ESP) +28.016
9. James Flitcroft (GBR) +28.787
10. Kevin Argino (ITA) +28.878
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