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Beach out for first win at Le Mans

Beach out for first win at Le Mans

The fourth race in the 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season will be contested at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit this Saturday, 17th May.

This weekend´s Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup action at the Alice Grand Prix de France will see double Jerez winner Luis Salom attempting to defend a three point championship lead over American JD Beach.

When 16 year-old Salom won at his home Grand Prix in Spain he completely dominated the two race weekend but with only a fourth place at the Portuguese round a month ago he allowed fellow 16 year-old Beach to close the gap with the third of his three 2008 second places.

Beach is challenging for the Cup lead but wants to grab it with his first win. `Three second places,´ he said after the race in Portugal. `That's OK but I´m going wide open at Le Mans.´

It is a new track for most of the Rookies but obviously it offers an advantage to the French riders headed by Nelson Major. The 15 year-old lies sixth in the Cup and stands every chance of moving up at his home event. Florian Marino, his 14 year-old fellow countryman, is hoping to shake off the effects of an early season injury to move up from 10th in the points standings.

They are joined for Le Mans by a third Frenchman, 15 year-old Quentin Jacquet who has a wild card entry. He races a KTM 125 in the French Championship and has already finished 10th at Le Mans in a national event this March so has an idea what to expect from the bike and the track.

New to both is the second wild card rider at Le Mans, 16 year-old Briton Ben McConnachie, whose father Ian won the 1986 80cc British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He also finished 9th in the 80cc French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 1985. Twenty three years later his son will use the French round to get familiar with the bike so that he can enjoy himself fully in his second wild card ride at Donington in June.

The machinery is available for two wild card riders at Le Mans because French law means that the riders must be 14 to compete. Therefore Japanese Daijiro Hiura, winner of the last round in Portugal must miss the event as he is only 13. Also sitting out this round for the same reason are Kevin Calia and Niklas Ajo.

Another man missing from Le Mans is Deane Brown. The 14 year-old Scot broke his leg when he crashed during the Sunday morning warm up for a British national event at Brands Hatch last weekend, May 11th. It is the same right femur he broke this time last year at a similar event.

Thanks to excellent co-operation from the FIM it has been decided that the worst result of each rider will be deleted from the Cup standings. So while those who miss Le Mans will have that `worst result´ removed from their points total all the other riders must also have their worst result of the year dropped. This is considered the fairest way to mitigate the fact that some riders must miss the race because of their age.


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