Florian Alt Wins Opening Round of Red Bull Rookies Cup
The 15-year old German rider took the win over pole man Marcos Ramirez of Spain in the last corner in a classic Rookies Cup race in the thick of a battle that saw neither the more experienced teenage riders nor the newcomers give any ground. Third place in the 16-lap race went to Diego Perez, also of Spain. After the battle of attrition for the lead in the closing stages it was Kyle Ryde the 14 year old Briton and 15 year old Spaniard Ivo Lopes who followed the top three for places four and five.
Alt, who took the race despite being back on the grid in eighth is in his third Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season and it was perhaps this edge of experience that played out for him on Saturday. He said he had struggled in the opening laps as part of the bigger group of riders but still admitted it had been fun to extract himself from the pack and grab onto the tail of the lead group. “From then it was a great battle, a lot of fun and though I was passed on the last lap I knew what I had to do at the last corner and it worked out,” he said. “The bike was good after we raised the rear suspension following practice but it wasn’t perfect. I think we will change it a little more before tomorrow’s race because I am aiming to do the same again.”
Ramirez, in his first year of the competition got away well but got bumped around in the opening stages and had to settle down and concentrate on catching the lead group. He made a great surge in the last stages of the race coming back from a 2.5 seconds gap with five laps to go and grabbed the back of the lead pack with one and a half laps to go. The young Spaniard Perez also said the race had been fun and he was aiming for another podium on Sunday in Round Two on the Jerez circuit.
It was an unlucky day for two riders who had both held the lead during the race:
Karel Hanika of the Czech Republic and 14-year-old Briton Bradley Ray who both exited the race after crashing. While the track had mostly dried out from rain earlier in the day there were still some wet patches that caught several riders out.
Race 2 at Jerez is on Sunday at 15.30 CET and can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on television stations around the world.