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Kent leads Red Bull Rookies Cup heading into Mugello

Kent leads Red Bull Rookies Cup heading into Mugello

The second race weekend of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies season gives June a great start at Mugello, as competition for the 2011 Cup builds.

From the Jerez race results two things are clear; experience helps but no one should ignore the talented newcomers. Three teens dominated the two rostrums in Spain; Danny Kent, the 16 year-old Briton heads the Cup points with a first and a second chased by 18 year-old Spaniard Daniel Ruiz who had a third and a first, then Daijiro Hiura, the 15 year-old Japanese who was second and third.

The newcomers who are already shaking up the established order include 14 year-old Italian Niccolo Antonelli who scored two superb sevenths in Spain and was in the lead battles in both races. Another star of those intense fights at the head of the field was Florian Alt who only turned 14 on the eve of the Jerez event yet recorded a sixth and a ninth.

Antonelli and Alt will have learnt from their battles with the best Rookies in Spain and go to Italy with their sights set on the podium. They have a few other riders to deal with though including Californian 16 year-old Jake Gagne who was frustrated by his fifth and sixth in Spain.

Another man to watch is of course Mathew Scholtz, the 17 year-old South African who was eighth and fourth, and fellow countryman Brad Binder, the 14 year-old who was fourth in the first race and retired in the second with a mechanical problem.

Harry Stafford, the 16 year-old Briton, crashed in the opening Jerez race while battling for the lead but took fifth in the second and should feature strongly in Italy as long as the left wrist he injured in a practice crash at Cadwell Park in Britain on May 22nd has recovered.

Of the two Rookies injured at Jerez only 14 year-old Spaniard Xavier Figueras stands a chance of racing in Italy as the injured ring finger of his right hand is mending well and his participation depends on a late medical check. Alan Techer, the 15 year-old Frenchman who broke his arm in Jerez will be a spectator as the screwed bone continues to mend.

Those hoping for a place in 2011 have taken the Road to Rookies Cup, a cross-section of them feature in the Riders on the Road segment and come from all corners of the globe, from New Zealand to Mexico, from Cuba to Scandinavia. The best appear in the Leading on the Road section as they compete for an invitation to the Selection Event later this year that will decide who joins the 2011 Cup.


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