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Solis quickest on day one of latest Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup test

Solis quickest on day one of latest Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup test

The second 2008 Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup test began on Monday at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, with Californian rider Benny Solis the quickest on the first day of a two-day event.

The second 2008 Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup test began on Monday at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, with Californian rider Benny Solis the quickest on the first day of a two-day event.

Colombia´s Tomas Puerta came up less than one tenth of a second behind Solis after dueling for Monday´s quickest time. Bryce Prince from Bakersfield, California was third fastest on the day.

Solis (age 13) and Puerta (age 15) were riding in close quarters during Monday´s final session, passing each other at various points on the track - including on the brakes in turn one.

Both riders felt that dicing for positions pushed each them to even lower lap times, even though Solis fell down on turn two, the lap after setting his best time of the day.

`I was a bit surprised because Tomas and I were going back and forth, lap after lap. He was showing me some of the fast lines and braking points and I was helping him out some, too. Every tenth helped since Bryce was close to us in third spot. I crashed on my very last lap but my time held up for the fastest of the day. I´m okay, though, and ready to go back out there tomorrow,´ said Solis after setting down his 136.179 best effort on his KTM RC125.

Puerta´s best time was 136.223 and the Colombian was pleased with his performance, saying: `Benny and I rode together and we helped each other out. It was fun for me to ride with him. I was happy with the training from Kevin Schwantz and want to thank the mechanics for working so hard. My bike worked well today and I was able to lower my lap times.´

Fifteen-year-old Bryce Prince steadily improved his times in the final session and had four successive laps in the 136-range, including his best time of 136.302. `Today was a good day for me,´ said Prince. `I was happy and felt good on the bike, very confident. My mechanic and I worked with the suspension and got it handling well for the track. I think the experience of riding at the Selection Event really helped me, especially with the wind.´

The second test of the year (after last month´s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event) was held at the same site as last fall´s Selection Event, so all of the Red Bull Rookies had ridden the 16-turn, 2.3-mile (3.7 km) circuit before. The morning session saw riders first take to the track under the tutelage of Rookies Cup riding coach and 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz at around 9.30am.

16 year-old Leandro Mercado (Argentina) and 14 year-old Toriano Wilson (Bermuda) also finished in the top five on the day.

U.S. Rookies Cup rider coach Schwantz felt there was room for improvement on a day where several riders crashed. `I was pleased with how the guys rode, for the most part,´ said Schwantz. `We had a few bikes tip over but we´ve been on the tyres for a few sessions now and we had cold and wind. It was important for the guys to feel what it´s like to ride in conditions like this because race conditions aren´t always perfect. We´ll see how they do tomorrow, and I´m encouraged with how well everyone is doing. Everyone needs to stay upright because more laps leads to more confidence.´

RED BULL AMA U.S. ROOKIES CUP - BARBER TEST DAY 1
Monday´s test times:
1. Benny Solis, North Hollywood, California 136.179
2. Tomas Puerta, Medellin Colombia 136.223
3. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, California 136.302
4. Leandro Mercado, Cordoba, Argentina 136.531
5. Toriano Wilson, St. Davids, Bermuda 136.643
6. Corey Rech, Liverpool, New York 136.652
7. Hayden Gillim, Owensboro, Kentucky 137.035
8. Jesse Stevens, Lawrenceville, Georgia 137.559
9. Joey Pascarella, Vacaville, California 137.725
10. Frankie Lee Gillim, Owensboro, Kentucky 137.804
11. Huntley Nash, Marietta, Georgia 137.960
12. Austin DeHaven, Los Angeles, California 138.274
13. Travis Wyman, Macedon, New York 138.366
14. Jacob Cunningham, Kimberly, Wisconsin 138.843
15. Jake Gagne, Ramona California 139.128
16. Cameron Gish, Shingle Springs, California 139.438
17. Austin Medrano, Mustang, Oklahoma 139.656
18. Corey Alexander, Ossining, New York 139.858
19. Emerson Conner, Burlington, Ontario 140.223
20. Jake Morman, Loganville, Georgia 140.632
21. Garet Tomlinson, Aledo, Texas 141.532
22. Otavio Lucchini, Jundiai, SP, Brazil, 142.313
23. Luciano Ribodino, San Francisco, Argentina 142.418

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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