Again it was a huge pack chasing the rostrum places right through the final chicane and again it was that last section that confounded pole man Karel Hanika. This time the 16-year-old Czech cartwheeled into the gravel trap after breaking too hard and clipping the back of Alt as they shed speed. Hanika’s rear wheel jumped into the air as he braked and he was thrown viciously over the handlebars. Though he landed on his helmet and tumbled into the dirt he walked away far more distressed than hurt.
On Friday he had missed a gear coming of the chicane and slipped to sixth at the line, hardly a just reward for some great riding. There were plenty of other superb performances as well and apart from the rostrum men many who were well pleased with the day’s work. French 15-year-old Simon Danilo shrugged off his early-season misfortune with a great fourth place. “That was a lot of fun, the bike was perfect and I enjoyed every lap,” he said. “I realised I could run with the leaders so I just concentrated on keep in the group and made sure that I was in a good position going onto the last lap and then just tried to pass as many as I could.”
The weekend’s biggest smile of course was probably Alt’s and with his fourth win of the season he has taken the Cup lead from Oettl and now has an eight-point advantage as they head to their home Grand Prix in a week’s time. “It was a great race, so tough just like yesterday,” he said.
“Again it was Philipp, Karel and I who did a lot of the leading and fighting. It was obvious it would come down to the chicane again so I just tried to cover it as well as I could, I felt something hit my boot, I guess it was Karel but I really don’t know what happened.”
Hanika certainly didn’t blame Alt. “It was just racing, I braked very late, perhaps too hard and the back wheel came up, Florian was coming across but that’s what happens. Just bad luck at the chicane again, same as yesterday.”
Ramirez was naturally thrilled to get back on the podium, he was second in Race 1 at Jerez back at the start of the year.
“A great race, so much fighting,” he said. “I knew I had to fight the hardest at the chicane and I just managed to get past Oettl, Hanika crashed and I had 2nd.”Typically Oettl didn’t make any excuses. “I had a good start and I managed to work my way up to the front again,” he said. “It was another very hard fight and being on the podium is OK, I am happy for the points but I am only really satisfied with winning. So I am already thinking about next weekend at the Sachsenring and I am confident that I can do a good job there.”
Making the best of a tough battle mid-pack, 15-year-old Briton Bradley Ray crossed the line fifth. “It was a fun race, I was just in there with the other guys and staying out of trouble, then at the end tried to pick off as many guys as I could,” he said.
Just behind him was Jorge Martin, who also featured strongly in Saturday’s race. Once again the 14-year-old Spaniard was vying for the lead. “I was there fighting but I made just one small mistake and about 5 riders came past,” he said. “That is the sort of race it was.”
Ivo Lopes had been one of the front runners but came together with Stefano Manzi as they battled for seventh with two laps to go and both went wide, Lopes finishing eighth and Manzi 14th. Just ahead of Lopez was local hero Scott Deroue, still struggling with the scabbed scooter injuries that pained him through the weekend.
Reigning Cup champion Lorenzo Baldassarri was 11th after his worst weekend, with just five points following the fall on Friday that dislocated his shoulder, surprising that he was able to ride at all. “It was tough but I was doing OK until I had a big front end slide and that wrenched the shoulder again,” he said. “It hurt. Then it settled a bit and I could race on. I am glad of the points and I hope it will be better next weekend.”
Races nine and ten of the 15 in the season will take place at the Sachsenring next weekend, June 7th and 8th.
Source: Red Bull Rookies Cup Press Release
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