Florian Alt won the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2012 with a perfect 3rd place behind victor Lukas Trautmann and Marcos Ramirez. While both his Cup rivals, Scott Deroue and Philipp Oettl slid off, 16 year old German Alt judged everything perfectly to cross the line just over a 10th of a second behind Trautmann, the 16 year old Austrian and alongside 14 year old Spaniard Ramirez.
Unluckiest man in the race was 15 year old Belgian Livio Loi who had worked his way through the pack. He overcame a clash with 16 year old Japanese Yui Watanabe that dropped him to 15th, fought his way to the lead and went onto the last lap with over 2 seconds on Trautmann only to have his bike roll to a halt at the first corner with an electrical failure.
That left Trautmann with just a 1.1 second lead over Alt and the rest, not enough of a comfort zone at all. “I had been looking at the big screens through the race and I knew that there was a big pack there. Bad luck to Livio, I don’t know what happened to his bike but I could see the others were right with me going onto the last lap.”
“The rear suspension was not right because we had no dry practice time so my back tyre was destroyed by the end of the race. My mechanic had also been showing me with the pit board that I had to keep pushing so that is what I did, I just gave it everything on the last lap and hung on. It was a very tough race, windy and we had no idea about the track, but so great to win.” he concluded with a huge grin.
Ramirez, one of the few to have ridden at Aragon before, had set off from the middle of the front row into an early lead while the others struggled to get used to a track that they had only experienced in the wet. Trautmann was soon after him though, towing the field behind him and Ramirez was swallowed up in the typical Rookies Cup charge of about 15 bikes all chasing the win.
That was broken up a little when outgoing Cup champions Lorenzo Baldassarri was flicked off on lap 6 of 15. Luckless Oettl could not avoid the sliding machine and was also brought down. Fortunately both the 15 year old Italian and the 16 year old German were unhurt.
The chase quickly reformed and the remaining Cup challenger, 16 year old Dutchman Deroue, can never be counted out in such circumstances. He had only qualified 18th, had not been in the top 10 all race. Yet as the laps counted down he was suddenly there in 5th position and with just Ramirez separating himself from Alt in 3rd and the hope of keeping his Cup hopes alive.
Deroue pushed and pushed too hard, he slid off unhurt on the last lap. The Cup was Alt’s even before he crossed the line, both he and Ramirez closing on Trautmann all through the final lap but juts coming up short. “It was a tough race,” said Ramirez. “I really had to fight hard all the way. On the last lap I really thought I had a chance to get the win but just couldn’t make it. The bike was great though, I am not going to change anything for tomorrow, just push harder for the win.”
So Alt claimed the Cup with a race in hand. A season of 4 race wins, a total of 7 rostrum finishes and always crossing the line in the top 5 but for a technical failure in Race 2 in Jerez and a fall in Race 2 in Estoril.
“It wasn’t an easy race, I knew that I had to keep a look out for Scotty and when he didn’t come past I knew I had won the Cup. It is a fantastic feeling, it has been a wonderful year. I want to go better in the 2nd race so for sure we are going to change the suspension a bit, I couldn’t hold the line today so if we get it right tomorrow’s race will be even more fun and I don’t have to worry about points or anything else.”
Sunday’s second Rookies Cup race in Aragon, the season finale, can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world with the show starting at 15.20 CET, 10 minutes before the race.
Source: Red Bull Rookies Press Release
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