Spanish rider Jorge Martin wrapped up the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup title on Saturday in front of his home crowd at the Aragon circuit, settling for a comfortable fourth place finish to crown what has been a very successful season.
Martin, who has rarely been off the podium this season went into Saturday’s penultimate round safe in the knowledge that he only had to finish tenth in one of the double-header races this weekend. Nevertheless when the lights turned to green on the Spanish circuit, Martin got away well from his pole position and stuck with his sharpest rivals, Joan Mir of Spain and Italian Stefano Manzi for the first two thirds of the race. The three young riders continually swapped the lead right through ten of the 15-lap race but never made sufficient headway to break away from the following group until the closing stages.
In the end it was Mir who stole the race, closely followed by Manzi with the talented young Italian Di Giannantonio, a first year Rookie, getting sufficiently into the action in the final stages to take the final podium spot. Martin settled for fourth admitting in the post race interview that the others had just been too fast for him. There was only 0.282 seconds separating the first four riders, making it a typical all-or-nothing Rookies Cup race with the young riders delivering an excellent standard of racing.
“I should have just been thinking about the championship,” Martin said. “Of course I wanted to win and right to the end I was going to try it but the other guys were very fast today. On that last lap there just wasn’t the chance to do it without taking a big risk. So now I am champion and I can just enjoy going for the win tomorrow.”
Martin had accumulated a 32-point advantage over Mir and with only 25-points up for grabs on Sunday was the clear title winner. He took five race wins, three seconds and a podium third on his way to his cup victory.
The series concludes its fifth year of competition on Sunday wrapping up another successful year of this breeding ground for tomorrow’s road racing stars. The final race will be held at 15:30 CET and can be viewed live on www.redbull.tv.
More at www.redbullrookiescup.com
Red Bull Rookies Cup at Motorland, in Aragon, Spain – Round 13 (All riders on KTM RC 250 R)
1, Joan Mir, ESP, 30:52.179
2, Stefano Manzi, ITA, at 0.011
3, Fabio Di Giannantonio, ITA, at 0.108
4, Jorge Martin, ESP, at 0.282
5, Bo Bendsneyder, NED, at 4.938
6, Toprak Razgatlioglu, TUR, at 5.131
7, Bradley Ray, GBR, at 5.132
8, Manuel Pagliani, ITA, at 17.027
9, Olly Simpson, AUS, at 21.859
10, Oscar Gutierrez, ESP at 22.029
Standings after Rd. 13 (of 14)
1, Martin, 229
2, Mir, 197
3, Manzi, 185
4, Ray, 136
5, Pagliani, 134
Image courtesy KTM