Ayumu Sasaki and Enzo Boulom were in a class of their own in terribly slippery conditions as they led Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup leader Bo Bendsneyder home in Race 2 at Silverstone.
The 14-year-old Japanese tailed the 18-year-old Frenchman all the way and then upped the pace with a lap to go and won by 3 seconds. Bendsneyder, the 16-year-old Dutchman rode alone in third after being forced to run wide when early leader Marc Garcia slid off in front of him.
Sasaki was third in Race 1 and again set off well from fourth on the grid along with Boulom to chase front row men Bendsneyder and Garcia. There was no Raúl Fernández as the third placed qualifier had slid off on one of the three sighting laps granted because there was no wet practice, indeed it was the first wet Rookies Cup running this year.
Garcia jumped into the lead but the 15-year-old Spaniard slid off on the first lap and took Bendsneyder wide. Boulom took up the lead with Sasaki on his tail. The pair pulled steadily away while Bendsneyder worked his way back into a distant third.
Sasaki had no interest in leading. “It wasn’t easy, at first I didn’t have a good pace and rhythm, I really had to follow Enzo. He was doing a good job and pulled us away. I could build my confidence and then in the end I knew I could go quicker.”
“It is great to win my first Rookies Cup Race and I will try to do it again in Misano,” concluded the first year Rookie who has been quick all season and clearly has no trouble learning circuits.
Boulom had done a great job but could not match Sasaki’s end of race pace. “It was a tough race, I really enjoyed it and I pushed as hard as I could. In the end I could not go quicker when Ayumu came past, he was riding well and just had the extra pace. Still I’m happy to be on the podium and want to do the same in Misano.”
“We have been working hard to sort the bike out and I think we now have some good settings and I am looking forward to the rest of the season. I was happy to qualify fifth here, it was a shame I made such a terrible start in Race 1 because the lead group had gone.”
For the second race in a row Bendsneyder pointed to his helmeted head after crossing the line, another thinking man’s ride. “Yes, I knew that Fabio was well back because I saw it on the big TV screen. I was going to pick up good points on him so there was no sense in taking any chances.”
“It was close when Garcia fell in front of me on lap one, I almost clipped him and had to go wide. Still it was no problem in the end and I’m happy with the great weekend,” concluded Saturday’s winner having finished on the podium at all but one of this year’s races. He now has a 52 point lead over Fabio Di Giannantonio who was 11th. There are three races with 75 points on off for the rest of the season. The next Rookies Cup race is in Misano in two weeks time, Saturday September 12th
Earlier in the day ex Rookies Cup Champion Johann Zarco extended his lead in the Moto2 Championship with another fabulous victory. It was an ex Rookie clean sweep in the Moto3 race with Danny Kent extending his Championship lead after a consummate victory over Jakub Kornfeil and Niccolo Antonelli.
Source: Red Bull Rookies
- #USWorldSBK – Day 2: Rea roars ahead to seventh win in 2018 at Laguna Seca June 24, 2018
- Video: FIM CEV Repsol, Catalunya Round – Moto2 race 2 highlights June 19, 2018
- Video: FIM CEV Repsol, Catalunya Round – Moto2 race 1 highlights June 19, 2018
- Video: FIM CEV Repsol, Catalunya Round – Moto3 race 2 highlights June 19, 2018
- Video: FIM CEV Repsol, Catalunya Round – Moto3 race 1 highlights June 19, 2018
- Video: FIM CEV Repsol, Catalunya Round – European Talent Cup highlights June 19, 2018
- Half way through the season: the reasons to watch WorldSBK June 22, 2018
- Marquez swaps engine for pedals ahead of Dutch GP June 22, 2018
- Bastianini: “Next year I’ll race in Moto2” June 22, 2018
- Pirro: "I can't wait to get on the bike" June 21, 2018
- Lowes: “I could have fought for the podium” June 21, 2018
- Applications for the British Talent Cup now closed June 21, 2018