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Solis takes second Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup win

Solis takes second Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup win

Talented 13-year-old Los Angeles native Benny Solis Jr. chalked up his second straight win in round two at San Francisco.

California´s Benny Solis Jr. won the second Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup race of 2008 at Infineon Raceway, north of San Francisco, on Sunday.

The teenager took the victory in a race that was stopped after nine laps due to a red flag. Solis won the race by 15.914 seconds over Tomas Puerta of Colombia and Austin DeHaven of Los Angeles.

An early two-rider battle for the lead saw Argentina´s Leandro Mercado and Kentuckian Hayden Gillim in front, while Solis and Bermuda´s Toriano Wilson reeled them in to make a four-rider pack. On lap four, Wilson crashed after running wide and into the dirt, leaving the other three riders to battle for victory. What was shaping up to be a late race shootout turned into a runaway victory when Mercado highsided and took Gillim with him in turn 11 on lap seven.

The race was red flagged and then called after Luciano Ribodino crashed his KTM RC 125 with nine laps complete. The Argentine rider nicknamed `Lucho´ was transported to a local hospital with an arm injury.

`I´m sorry the other riders crashed out because we were having a good race,´ said Solis. `I was hoping to have a hard-fought win out there but it didn´t exactly turn out like I thought it was going to. I just missed Leandro when the bike spit him off. I thought Hayden was still with me so I kept my head down for a while but then I realized he must have crashed too. I was doing my best and I´m glad I have two wins in a row to start the Red Bull Rookies Cup season.´

Solis also won last month´s race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, and leads the points chase with a perfect 50 points.

Tomas Puerta from Colombia earned a measured second place after a calculating ride that balanced speed with his desire to earn points, while DeHaven has been one of the best success stories thus far in the Rookies Cup. He earned his podium spot on Sunday to symbolize his ever-quickening pace over the past few months and a late pass on Bryce Prince for third place was the key to his race.

Prince was fourth, ahead of Frankie Lee Gillim, Nicky Hayden´s cousin, from Owensboro, Kentucky.

With its inaugural season successfully underway, applications are now being accepted online for the 2009 season of the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup at

Applicants must be 13 to 17 years old during the 2009 racing season (born between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 1995). The deadline for applications is August 15, 2008.

MotoGP, 2008

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