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MotoGP Rookies take home Riders Cup

MotoGP Rookies take home Riders Cup

The Red Bull Riders Cup was seized by the visiting MotoGP Rookies Team as they swept the leaderboard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In tricky damp-to-wet conditions in the Red Bull Riders Cup race on Sunday morning at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, 16 year-old Norwegian Sturla Fagerhaug rode superbly to head home 16 year-old South African Mathew Scholtz and 17 year-old Briton Matthew Hoyle.

The MotoGP Team won by 114 points to 26 as the first man home in the AMA U.S. Rookies Team was eighth place Jake Gagne, the 15 year-old Californian. The result may have been very different had 13 year-old Hayden Gillim from Georgia not crashed out while battling with Fagerhaug for the lead.

`They were really difficult conditions,´ said Fagerhaug. `We had rain tyres on because there was a bit of rain at the start but the track was dry in most places and in those conditions the tyres are soon sliding at every corner. It doesn´t feel good at all. Then, about half way through the race it rained and that was better actually, the tyres felt good and were working well.´

It was the rain that caught Gillim out because in the dry he had stormed through from a poor start to take the lead in the most dramatic fashion, taking something like eight bike lengths out of the leading MotoGP Rookies into the fast left hander off the front straight. `I´m a dirt tracker and I just switched into dirt mode and carried as much speed in there as I dared, it was moving around a bit but that´s OK,´ said Gillim.

`I saw what he did,´ said Fagerhaug. `He was just crazy, pure luck,´ he joked and truly the Europeans had no answer as Gillim opened up an almost three second lead in as many laps. Then the rain came and the lead was gone. `I could see that he slowed a lot,´ said Fagerhaug. `I tried to keep my pace going and caught him quite fast.´

Passed by Fagerhaug, Gillim was also under pressure from Scholtz. `I had a terrible start,´ said the South African. `But then I managed to get through to race with the guys. I was right with Hayden and Sturla when Hayden crashed and I had to brake. So I lost a bit of time and then I just couldn´t make it up. It was pretty slippery and I so nearly crashed, I was on the grass once.´

Hoyle´s third place was secure in the last third of the race and the Briton was forced to be sensible about the situation. `I made a good start, got the hole-shot but I wasn´t in a hurry. I wanted to see how much grip there was and it was OK when a couple of guys went past. Then, when I really wanted to go with them, I just made a couple of mistakes and they got a gap on me. I realised there was no-one behind and just had to bring it home.´

Newly crowned MotoGP Cup winner 16 year-old JD Beach from Washington State had a torrid week, struck low by illness his bike bogged on the line but then he did a brilliant job of fighting through the pack to grab seventh place just ahead of the first of the AMA U.S. riders thus putting the Red Bull Riders Cup firmly in his team´s hands.

The Cup goes with the winning team to Europe and AMA U.S. Rookies will have another chance to claim it on October 25th at Valencia when the season closes with the final Grand Prix.


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