Red Bull Rookies: Silverstone Preview
Silverstone beckons the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup this coming weekend. Races 10 and 11 of the 14 in the season will be highlights of the British Grand Prix weekend as the 50 points available for a double win seem increasingly valuable.
Karel Hanika, the 17-year-old Czech, leaves home with a 51 point advantage after his great win in Brno but he has not had a single easy race this season and does not expect the remaining five to be any different.
There is every reason to believe that these races will be closer than ever as a front suspension upgrade allows the field to enjoy the performance of the KTM RC 250 R Rookies bikes. The upgrade was in place for the Czech Grand Prix last weekend but not everyone could immediately feel the full benefit. A pooling of information after practice and qualifying meant that the improvement for some was felt in the race, others will do their fine tuning at Silverstone.
In Brno it was 17-year-old Italian Manuel Pagliani and 15-year-old Spaniard Jorge Martín who pushed Hanika all the way but there is little doubt that Italians Enea Bastianini, the 15-year-old and 14-year-old Stefano Manzi would have been part of that battle had they not collided early on.
They are all likely to feature at the front this week and should be joined by 16-year-old Briton Brad Ray who was one of those who was thrilled by the upgrade at Brno. He benefitted in the race and was part of the superb scrap for fifth.
The rider who took that place was 14-year-old Soushi Mihara who had his best ride of the year, also praising the upgrade. Fellow Japanese Yui Watanabe is also hitting form. Finishing 11th, she and 15-year-old South African Darryn Binder were closing right up on that fifth place battle on the final lap. They too could be podium challengers in Britain.
The wide open Silverstone circuit is another classic Grand Prix venue that is a wonderful test of the skills of the Rookies.
Source: Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Team