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Gagne and Ruiz Red Bull Rookies winners at Assen

Gagne and Ruiz Red Bull Rookies winners at Assen

The American won race one and victory was achieved by the Spanish rider in race two at Assen as the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup rolled on.

Jake Gagne won a stunning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race one at Assen on Friday in a contest which was only decided over the last two corners. The 16 year-old American was joined on the podium by 15 year-old Italian Kevin Calia and 15 year-old Italian/Nigerian Alessio Cappella. Pole holder Daijiro Hiura was fifth, with main rivals Daniel Ruiz and Danny Kent eighth and 11th respectively.

All were part of a pack that were in with a chance of victory, which was eventually secured by Gagne. "With about five laps to go I started to push forward, I didn't want to be too far back when it came to the end. Then on the last lap I got the perfect slipstream into the lead and just had it pinned through the last left down to the chicane."

Calia and Cappella traded the lead for much of the race, and Calia said: "I felt confident on the bike and I was enjoying it. The only problem I had was the seagull in the track on the last lap, I nearly hit it, so I had to swerve and lost a lot of places. After that I am just happy to be on the podium."

Enjoying his first podium Cappella added: “Just at the end of the race I feel my size doesn't help when it gets rough, I lose out, so I am happy with third."

In race one 16 year-old Brit Harry Stafford, 15 year-old Japanese rider Hiura and 15 year-old Australian Arthur Sissis all finished inside the top six, with Swedish rider Alex Kristiansson tenth after having battled with Cappella and Calia for much of the race.

In race two on Saturday Ruiz won his second race of the season after being granted victory over Kent in the stewards’ room. The 16 year-old Brit was penalised for overtaking the 18 year-old Spaniard on the final corner while the yellow flag was being waved, and Stafford secured his first Rookie podium with third.

Kristiansson got a good start from the front row and led early on but was soon caught, and Ruiz and Kent both led at different stages whilst pole man Hiura dropped as low as tenth after a poor start¬ before recovering to make his way back up the field.

Hiura’s engine stopped with six laps to go as bad luck struck when the fuel line came off, and Kristiansson was forced to slow down to avoid hitting him as he followed in the Japanese rider’s slipstearm, and subsequently lost contact with the lead pack.

At the front Ruiz opened up a half-second gap with a lap and a half to go, but on the final few corners of the race Kent attacked on the brakes, overtaking on the inside through the chicane and not seeing the yellow flag.

"It was a great race and it was good to be towards the front of the group. I realised that I was stronger than Dani going into the final chicane so I knew that I had to put myself behind him on the last lap and that's what I did," said Kent. "It was a better race really than yesterday. Of course I'm not happy about losing the win, I never saw any flags otherwise of course I wouldn't overtake.”

Ruiz said: "It was a great race and I really enjoyed it. I was leading on the last lap but Danny came past into the last chicane, I could see the flags being waved so I didn't expect him to pass, it was very confusing."

Third placed Stafford added: "I leant a lot from finishing fourth yesterday, I knew that I had to be a bit more aggressive to get into the right position for the last laps.”

Race one winner Gagne was fourth, with Calia, Kristiansson and Brad Binder completing the top seven.

Ruiz now leads the overall standings on 84 points with Kent just a single point behind. Hiura is third on 72, with Gagne fourth on 67.

MotoGP, 2010, TIM TT ASSEN

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