Hanika wins penultimate round of Rookies Cup at Aragon race 1
Already with the title in his hands Karel Hanika put in a flawless display to take his seventh Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup win of the year at Aragon on Saturday. The 17-year-old Czech worked hard for it and only at the end of an intense 15 laps did he have a handy advantage over 17-year-old Dutchman Scott Deroue and 14-year-old Italian Stefano Manzi. They flashed across the line at the head of an six rider battle for those last two rostrum places.
“At the end it might have looked OK but it was a really very hard race,” reported Hanika. “I wasn’t confident at all in the early laps. I was having trouble change down through the gears and that was upsetting things. I think it might have ben caused by my crash yesterday and something we didn’t notice, I changed the position of the lever on the line because I had trouble on the sighting lap.”
“Anyway I got over that,” continued the tall, long haired blond. “When Ramirez slid off that just gave me a bit of an advantage and I could get away, I had tried earlier on but couldn’t do it. This time it worked and my dad showed the advantage I had on my board so I knew it was OK going onto the last lap,” he concluded after what was a 1.5 second advantage at the line.
In fact Ramirez had managed to scramble back on the bike as he slid across the track and finished eighth. After the flag the the 15-year-old Spaniard was showing off the scrape marks on the on the brake guard on the end of his right handlebar and the torn Alpinestars leathers of his right forearm and gloves where he pushed himself off the tarmac.
It had been an eight man battle for the lead but after that drama Deroue was second and unable to close again on Hanika. “It was a hard race, I was able to fight with Hanika and the others for the win but after Ramirez fell off I just couldn’t get back to the front,” Deroue stated.
Manzi did exceptionally well having only qualified tenth, six tenths off Hanika’s pole time. “We didn’t change anything on the bike, I just went full gas,” he grinned. “It was a great race and so much fun battling with everyone. That last lap was so close with Scotty, Joan and Darryn and I think it will be the same tomorrow.”
Joan Mir, the 16-year-old Spaniard, and 15-year-old South African Darryn Binder were both in the struggle for those rostrum places and Binder had a hand on one until Mir dived inside him through the tight left onto the back straight on the final lap. “Joan got past and then he had a bit of a highside right in front of me so we both lost the drive onto the straight. There was nothing we could do about it, Scotty and Stefano were gone. Still it was a fun race and I am so glad there is another one tomorrow,” concluded Binder who now has three fifth places as his best results in his first Rookies Cup season.
Misano winner, Manuel Pagliani, the 17 year old Spaniard, did his hopes of taking second in the Cup no good with an early highside out of the lead group. That and Ramirez dropping back to eighth very much strengthened Jorge Martín’s second position even though the 15-year-old Spaniard only crossed the line seventh himself. Both he and sixth placed Brad Ray, the 16-year-old Briton, were in the lead group but later complained that they didn’t have the engine performance to get to the front of it.
The final race of the year is at 15.30 on Sunday, local time.
Source: Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Team