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Rookie champion Zarco closes season with victory

Rookie champion Zarco closes season with victory

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup champion Johann Zarco took a final victory of 2007 at Valencia this afternoon, taking advantage of a mistake from poleman Cameron Beaubier.

Johann Zarco won the final race of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup after a superb race long battle with arch rival Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier fell trying to make a break for it on the final lap. That handed second place to Scotsman Dean Brown ahead of Cyril Carrillo who made it two Frenchmen on the podium.

Seventeen Year old Zarco used the same perfect balance of intelligence and skill that clinched him the Cup championship at the penultimate round in Portugal. ´From the start I really wanted to get away because I knew that some of the other guys might be going a little crazy in the last race. I got away but then Cameron came after me. I was happy to race with him.´ said Zarco.

´It was a really great race. Cameron and I were really enjoying it. He is a great guy to race with and we have had some good battles this year. I knew that it would be very hard at the end. He made a good move and tried to get away but then he crashed. Suddenly I could relax and the last few corners were very easy.´

On the podium for the first time was Scotsman Dean Brown who tried to make the best of a great start from the second row. ´I just went for it from the start. Then Zarco came past and I tried to go with him as much as I could but then Beaubier came past and they were just too fast. I got caught by the pack and I was not going to let them get away, every time I got passed I just passed them back.´

One of those that fourteen year old Brown kept trading places with was seventeen year old Carrillo. ´That was such a great race, really hard,´ said the Frenchman. ´It was just fighting and fighting all the way from the start. We have had quite a few races like that this season. I really enjoyed it. It was very important to me to get on the podium again.´

The man that handed him that final rostrum place was fourteen year old Beaubier, naturally frustrated with his mistake at the end of what had been such a great duel for the lead. ´Me and Zarco were kind of racing, but really almost playing around, having a good race. Then at the end I tried to put a gap on him on the very last lap. I felt like I was gaining time on him but I crashed, stupid. Through the fast chicane I flicked it and then into the right the back just came around and threw me over the highside.´

Almost from the start the race was split into the battle for the lead between Zarco and Beaubier that was clean and measured while well behind them an untidy scrap for third featured Brown and Carrillo fighting for every turn with Spaniard Luis Salom, Briton Matthew Hoyle and Italian Lorenzo Savadori.

That scrap for third that became second when Beaubier crashed really was a classic with no one looking to be on the same line twice. That untidiness helped Zarco and Beaubier get clear at the head of the field.

Beaubier made a great move to take the lead going inside Zarco at the last corner half way through the race only to run wide and let the Frenchman through again. A couple of laps later with Beaubier in front it was Zarco who made exactly the same move and this time held the advantage down the straight.

With both riders having shown the ability to make a last corner overtaking move it made good sense for Beaubier to try and avoid that on the last lap. Beaubier played his ace and tried to get away but it didn´t work. From his fall he remounted to finish fifteenth.

Thirteen year old Daijiro Hiura had a fantastic début race as a wild card finishing ninth despite the fact that he had never seen the bike or the track before. Fellow Japanese Yuya Yokoo also thirteen years old was an excellent thirteenth after starting from way back on the grid.


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