Scott Deroue, the 16 year old Dutchman snatched victory on the run in to the line from 16 year old German Florian Alt after a 7 bike lead battle for Race 1 of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Estoril. Home GP stardom was denied pole man Ivo Lopes as the 15 year old Portuguese was pushed to 4th by 16 year old Czech Karel Hanika on the final lap.
The opening laps saw Lopes, Hanika and Alt having a private battle for the lead but as soon as the 2nd place group settled down containing Deroue, 14 year old Britons Kyle Ryde and Bradley Ray as well as Spanish 14 year old Marcos Ramirez they started to close on the leading trio.
“I knew we could catch them,” said Deroue who had actually charged into the lead from 6th place on the grid only to make a mistake and slip out of the initial leading bunch. “It just needed them to make a mistake and that is what they did. Once we caught them I knew we could fight to the finish. I had the lead on the last lap but then Florian came past. I had a pretty good line every lap through that last corner and just caught his slipstream perfectly.”
Disappointment for Alt of course. “I did everything that I could. I couldn’t get away at the front, the others kept picking up my slipstream. All I could do on that last lap was get in front and try to make the last corners perfectly. I did and I thought I had it. Only to see Scotty come past at the line,” concluded Alt who lost out by less than a tenth of a second.
Hanika was happy to be on the podium after being fast since the start of the year but suffering 2 accidents at Jerez. “It was a great race, a lot of fun. The bike was good and I had no real problems I just couldn’t get in front on the run to the line, Scotty had the perfect slipstream.”
Lopes also found the positive. “I’m now 2nd in the Cup points just 1 behind Flo’ so that’s great, the bike was good, I’m just a bit big for it and that doesn’t help down the long straight here but never mind I’m going to win tomorrow. This is my track and it should be my race,” he added with a grin.
Ray was 5th across the line and had been part of the pressure that took the 2nd group up to the leaders, setting the fastest lap of the race to that point. “We caught them but then I just couldn’t get through the group, not without doing something a bit crazy,” said the British 125 Championship leader.
Reigning British champ Ryde was 6th and claimed the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 of the 16. “By then my stomach was upsetting my concentration,” he explained referring to the grumbling appendix that had hit during qualifying. “I was thinking more about that than riding and I just lost touch with the group. Up ’till then it had been easy enough to run with them and I was looking for a good result.”
Also dropping off the group in the final laps to finish 7th was Ramirez. “I just couldn’t keep with them in the end, the front was chattering going into the chicane and I just had to let them go.”
Reigning Cup champion and points leader going to Estoril, Lorenzo Baldassarri finished only 14th and slipped to 4th in the points behind Ramirez “I’m sad,” said the 15 year old Italian who had qualified 12th. “I made a good start but then Azmi braked very late into one of the corners, I got off line and in the wrong gear, I lost so much drive coming out that a lot of riders came past. From there it was very difficult and I couldn’t fight my way through the group. I have to get away with the leaders tomorrow.”
Race 2 in Estoril is at 16.30 CET on Sunday and can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV networks around the world.
Source: Red Bull Rookies
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