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2010 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup starts at Jerez

2010 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup starts at Jerez

The 10 race Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup kicks off its 2010 season at Jerez this weekend as part of the Gran Premio bwin de España weekend, with a race both on Saturday and Sunday.

It is certainly a baptism of fire for those who are first timers amongst 25 of the sport's fastest racing teenagers, with more than 100,000 spectators packing the Jerez grandstands.

The pressure of the situation gives the advantage to the 'old hands' like Daniel Ruiz who has just turned 18, and as the senior Rookie in his third season he is determined to claim his first race win. Ruiz was a very good performer last season and crossed the line second in the British round in Donington in 2009, and will have learnt well from the last two years. He was thrilled to find himself truly comfortable in the wet at the pre-season Valencia test, something that has been a problem in the past. Overall he was third fastest at the end of the three days.

Fastest in Valencia was Japanese 15 year-old Daijiro Hiura who goes into his third Rookie season as one of the strong favourites. He was third in the Cup last year thanks to finishing on the podium in half of the eight races but he failed to match the win he recorded in Portugal back in 2008. To take this year's Cup he will need to regain that winning secret and avoid the first race crash he suffered in Jerez last year after setting off from pole.

Second fastest at the test and the winner of race two at Jerez last year was Danny Kent. The 16 year-old Briton was fourth in last year's Cup and is another very strong favourite for success this season. He knows that to take the Cup he will need more than that single race victory and having shown the ability to score pole times in practice last year will now have to convert them into wins.

Hiura, Kent and Ruiz are the experienced trio that headed the Valencia test and must be favourites for Jerez success, but there is another name that should be noted and that is Jake Gagne. The 16 year-old Californian crashed on day one of the test, not a dramatic accident but when his ankle got caught between the swing arm and rear wheel it got wrenched so badly that the swelling prevented any further riding for the week.

With nothing broken he will be fit enough for Jerez and in a great position to step up from the string of podium finishes he scored in the second half of last season; gaining him sixth in the 2009 Cup. His learning curve through 2009 was certainly impressive and a direct continuation of his 2008 progress in the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup. There he went from motocrosser and complete road race novice to race winner in a single season.

There are another 21 Rookies that are determined to upset that form book. The best of those at the Valencia test was fourth placed Brad Binder. The 14 year-old South African goes into his second Rookies season fired up; not least because he has grown enough to be racing without the weight ballast that he disliked last year.

Fellow countryman, 17 year-old Mathew Scholtz is starting his third Rookies year and after winning a race in his debut season was a little frustrated with 2009. Two second places were his best results and he could not turn his very obvious speed into consistent results. Last year's opening race in Jerez saw Scholtz charge away from the start at a pace that made it look as though he was in a race of his own. An off track excursion put him back in the pack, he ended the weekend with a second and a seventh, a variation that became the theme of his year.

Scholtz was not thrilled to be only eighth fastest at the Valencia test and should in no way be counted out for this year's Cup. Less than a tenth faster at the test was first year Rookie Alan Techer. The 15 year-old Frenchman could well get amongst the established Rookies right from the start this year even though he has never raced at Jerez before.

Techer will have to contend with the likes of 14 year-old Spaniard Xavier Figueras and 16 year-old Briton Harry Stafford who were fifth and sixth fastest in Valencia. Xavier heads into his second Rookies season and Harry his third.

With the fourth Rookies Cup season starting the action throughout the race weekend can be followed on Twitter with more detailed stories and background info on the official website


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