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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup ready for Mugello

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup ready for Mugello

The fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend at Mugello coincides with the fifth race in the 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season.

The half-way point of the 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will be reached this weekend, with the fifth of this year´s 10 races taking place at the Gran Premio d´Italia.

Just eight points currently separate leader Luis Salom from second placed JD Beach and they are sure to be pushed hard in the Italian race by Daijiro Hiura, who beat them both in Portugal.

Being only 13, Japanese ace Hiura had to miss the last race in France but is in action again at round five with a good chance of putting his title attack back on track thanks to the rule that all riders must drop one result from their Cup points total at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, 16 year-old American Beach is still looking for his first win after taking second in all four rounds so far.

Spanish 16 year-old Salom dominated the double header that opened the season in Jerez but knows that Beach is closing the experience gap every weekend and though Salom fended off the race-long attention of Beach to win in Le Mans the American dirt tracker is getting more comfortable on tarmac with every outing.

Others, like fellow 16 year-old Sturla Fagerhaug, have had less consistent campaigns thus far. As the Norwegian showed with a superb third in Portugal he is well capable of challenging for race wins as soon as he overcomes the bad starts that have upset his challenge so far, with the result that he lies fourth in the standings at present, 40 behind Salom.

Third in the standings, two points ahead of Fagerhaug, is French 15 year-old Nelson Major, the best of the newcomers to the Cup this season. He has been getting stronger every race and made the podium at his home event after getting the best of a race long battle with 15 year-old German Daniel Kartheininger and 14 year-old Frenchman Florian Marino. All three of them could step up and challenge for the top places in Italy.

Following the age restricted French round the grid is back to full strength at Mugello with 23 starters, as Nigerian Italian Alessio Cappella competes in his first race having turned 13 on April 27th. English 16 year-old Ben McConnachie has his second Rookies race as a temporary replacement for Deane Brown who is recovering well from the broken leg he sustained at a non Cup event in Britain.

MotoGP, 2008

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