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Hoyle leads MotoGP Rookies to victory

Hoyle leads MotoGP Rookies to victory

Matthew Hoyle led his team to victory in the Red Bull Riders Cup at Valencia on Saturday.

17 year old Briton Matthew Hoyle made it virtually a start-to-finish victory comfortably ahead of 16 year old Spaniard Luis Salom in the Red Bull Riders Cup on Saturday evening. The 16 year old Spaniard pulled through from a mediocre grid position and start to overtake 15 year old American Jake Gagne who finished third. The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup team won 91 points to 49.

The Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies were up against it as the race was dry after soaking wet practice sessions left them no chance to know where the limit was on slicks on a circuit few of them had ever ridden on before. Gagne did a great job of chasing the more experienced Salom but then was almost thrown from his machine in a spectacular high-side that resulted in him running over his own left foot even though he stayed on the machine.

`It just snapped round on me and I only just managed to stay on it. Sure it hurt my foot and made it hard to change direction on the bike after that. I just had to tough it out to the finish,´ said Gagne who was carried onto the podium by his mechanics. A trip to the medical centre revealed a broken big toe in his left foot.

Hoyle totally dominated the race from third place on the grid and though German 14 year old Markus Reiterberger jumped into the lead at the first corner Hoyle was ahead at the end of the first lap. Mathew Scholtz was quickly into second but when the 16 year old South African crashed as he was about to start lap two what might have been a close fought battle evaporated.

Hoyle charged into a lead that stretched to seven seconds in only about four laps. `Though we hadn´t practised in the dry I was pretty confident because we have ridden here before. The bike was working well and having won races on my way to the British Championship this year I knew what to do. I just settled into a rhythm and kept my concentration going. It didn't know it was Luis who had got into second but I saw that my lead had dropped by about a second in one lap and upped the pace. I did a few 46s and the gap came back so I was happy with that.´

`Finally my first Rookies win. It´s what I came here for and I´m so glad to get it in my last Rookies race,´ concluded Hoyle who had a disastrous start to his 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season as much due to bad luck as anything but concluded the year with a string of podiums and finally victory.

Second man home in Valencia and already second in the MotoGP Cup for 2008, Salom was typically, at least on the surface, accepting of the way the race went. `I can never seem to do well in the wet and I crashed in practice so only started ninth on the grid, then my start was terrible,´ said Salom with a shrug and a grin. `I pushed to get through and chase after Matty but seven seconds, his lead was too much. I´ve got a very sore hip from my practice crash so I think I must be happy with second... but I´m not.´

The closest, most thrilling battle was that for fourth that went on the line to Florian Marino from Nelson Major, Leandro Mercado, Jakub Kornfeil and Markus Reiterberger. `That was so much fun,´ said 15 year old Frenchman Marino but fellow countryman 15 year old Major was not so sure. `My bike was slow,´ he claimed while Mercado did not realise that the last lap was upon him as unlike the US there is no white flag to signal the start of the final circuit in GP rules.

There were disappointments of course. JD Beach, the MotoGP Cup holder was forced wide entering the start and finish straight and had to make a trip down pit lane. The 16 year old American finished eleventh. Sturla Fagerhaug, winner of the Indianapolis Riders Cup race was frustrated with brake problems that forced him to a pit-stop and a sixteenth place finish.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMIO PARTS EUROPE DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA

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