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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies: Hiura and Marino fastest but Fagerhaug and Kornfeil are there

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies: Hiura and Marino fastest but Fagerhaug and Kornfeil are there

A brilliant final lap put Daijiro Hiura on pole position for the final two races of the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season, a race on Saturday and the final on Sunday of the Cardion AB Czech Grand Prix.

The 15 year old Japanese just nudged aside 16 year old Frenchman Florian Marino leaving the two Rookies tied for the Cup lead, Sturla Fagerhaug and Jakub Kornfeil, to complete the front row.

Though he is 27 points behind, Hiura can still win the Cup as there are 50 points on offer this weekend and he knows that to do it he must win races even though this track is not his favourite. "I didn't do well here last year so I was not expecting too much. I just worked hard through the practice and step by step went faster, the tyres were well worn at the end and sliding around a lot but on that final lap I managed to get a good rhythm going and a fast time."

It is a bigger stretch for Marino, 6th in the table, to win the Cup as he has to make up 40 points but a whole string of quick laps in the second session that gave him pole for the second half of the 30 minutes demonstrated that he could well take at least one race win. "I must do it now, the bike is really good and my mind is right. I did OK here last year, I was 5th with the 4th fastest lap time and I like this track. For tomorrow I know I have to make a good start, press hard and get away, that's the way to win the race." He has been furious with himself for failing to get on the podium so far, he has been 4th 3 times.

With eyes perhaps more on the Cup than the race Fagerhaug was quickest in the first session and not concerned with missing out on pole. "The first qualifying session was good and I managed to go faster and faster towards the end. I was quite happy with that. For the second session we decided to try a few different things, different lines and stuff. Then I decided it was time to go a bit quicker but then I made a big mistake and spoilt one lap, then some riders came out of the pits and got in the way. I just got going a bit, did some OK times and the bike stopped. I hope it can be fixed OK and then we're on the front row so I just have to get away with the guys and see what happens."

His arch rival Kornfeil was fastest for the first 15 minutes of the opening session and slid off half way through the final session but without damage to man or machine. "I was pushing too hard on the brakes and lost the front. I am happy with the bike set-up though and looking forward to the race, we made some changes after the free practice this morning and it's good now. I think I can go quicker in the race, in practice I was either on my own or with riders following me, in a race battle I can be quicker."

Even the first three riders on the second row, Danny Kent, Mathew Scholtz and Jake Gagne are in with a mathematical chance of the Cup win and with 2 third places already this year, fast improving Gagne, the 15 year old Californian, was very impressive as the fastest of the Brno first timers. "It's a fun track. When you first go out it seems so wide and that takes a bit of getting used to but after a few laps I started to really enjoy it. I got onto second row in the first session and wanted to make sure I managed at least that if not the first row in the second session so I am happy with that.

Early fallers in the first qualifying session were Alex Kristiansson, on the first lap, followed by Fraser Rogers, Arthur Sissis and Josh Hook who was only just returning to action after breaking his left collarbone during practice for the German round a month ago. With no-one injured and the bikes repairable all riders took part in the second session. Falls in the second session were even lighter with Dylan Mavin, Robin Barbosa, Mathew Scholtz, Benny Solis and Deane Brown all escaping injury.


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