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Oliveira shocks the regulars in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Oliveira shocks the regulars in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

There was a surprise winner in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Donington Park, in the form of 13 year old Miguel Oliveira.

Miguel Oliveira won the 6th Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the year on a wet and cold midsummer´s day at Donington. The 13 year old Portuguese was having only his second race in the Cup after being a wild card rider at his home event back in April. In very slippery conditions he led from start to finish ahead of 16 year old Norwegian Sturla Fagerhaug and 15 year old South African Mathew Scholtz.

Cup leader Luis Salom finished 9th and the 16 year old Spaniard saw his points lead dwindle to 9 ahead of JD Beach who crossed the line 5th. The 16 year old American dirt tracker did especially well having qualified only 12th.

`It is so great to win this race,´ said Oliveira. `I didn't expect to be able to do that. It´s so important for me because the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has really good riders and it's not easy,´

He rocketed away at almost 3 seconds a lap to a 16 second advantage before the 16 lap race was half over.

What could have been boring became a thriller as the second place group began to cut back the advantage. Pole man Daijiro Hiura and Florian Marino both crashed out of contention for podium places leaving it to Fagerhaug and Scholtz to hunt down Oliveira, at times cutting his lead by almost 2 seconds a lap.

3rd went to first time podium man and first year Rookie Scholtz.

The gap was only 1.7 seconds at the flag and Oliveira had no idea it was that close. `When you lead a race like that by quite a long way it is easy to lose concentration. But I didn´t find it too hard to get the concentration back again. I had a few slides and eased off a little but mainly I felt good and comfortable. Early in the race I was looking behind and I could see I had a good lead. I was looking across the track at the end of each lap but I didn´t realise that I wasn´t seeing the second place rider as Sturla and Mat had got very close. I will talk to my mechanic before the next race and get better organised with the pit signals.´

After an uncharacteristic fall in the final practice session that left him on the 3rd row of the grid Beach was not unhappy with 5th, whilst points were also on the mind of Cup leader Salom as he avoided hitting the ground.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, bwin.com BRITISH GRAND PRIX

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