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Red Bull Riders Cup: Scholtz picks it up for pole

Red Bull Riders Cup: Scholtz picks it up for pole

South African 16 year-old Mathew Scholtz sits on pole for Sunday´s Red Bull Riders Cup race at Indianapolis.

MotoGP Rookie team-mates Mathew Scholtz (pole) and Matthew Hoyle (the 17 year old Briton) in second, head the grid for Sunday´s Red Bull Riders Cup race. The front row is completed by two AMA U.S. Team members, Leandro Mercado and Hayden Gillim.

On a slowly drying track after a soaking wet start to practice Scholtz set the pole time despite crashing a few laps before the end of the second qualifying session. `It was one of the tight corners where you have to use the clutch but I slipped it with too much lean angle and the back came round on me. I thought, `Oh no, that´s done it,´ I just picked the bike up and was happy it was not too badly damaged. I then just went as hard as I could and managed to get pole on the last lap.´

Team mate Hoyle was comfortable in second. `I wouldn´t say I was pushing 100%, it was still a bit wet out there, especially in the first section. It´s a good track, I´m enjoying it but I´ve still got a bit to learn. As it was drying I was still a bit tight on the faster sections, not turning in late enough. But it´s getting better all the time.´

Newly crowned MotoGP Cup winner JD Beach had not been enjoying the week leading up to his home race. The 16 year old American had been struck low with a fever and strep throat. `I fell off in the first session, I was feeling so weak after a couple of laps that when the front end slid away I couldn´t hold the bike up. I was surprised though I actually felt better in the two qualifying sessions. I think my team can win, I don´t know about me though,´ concluded Beach with a smile that signalled that we might see a return to a fitter JD by race day.

One of the most frustrated of the MotoGP team was Czech 15 year old Jakub Kornfeil who was well up the leaderboard in the first qualifying session but slipped back to 9th and the 3rd row of the grid when it counted. `In that second qualifying session it didn´t matter what I tried, I never got a clear lap, just so frustrating.´

Top rider from the AMA U.S. Team, Leandro Mercado, qualified third and the 16 year old from Argentina was quite happy. `The first qualifying session was not good because I couldn´t find a clear track. Then in the second session it was better and I could get into my rhythm so I was much happier. We might think about some suspension changes for the race but otherwise everything is great.´

With 5 riders each in the top ten qualifying positions the team situation looks fairly even but there is more track time for both teams before Sunday´s race. Saturday sees a round of the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup and too keep track time in balance the visiting MotoGP will use the time as extra practice, starting from the pit lane once the AMA U.S. grid has departed.


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