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Gagne takes Red Bull Rookies title despite Kent victory in Misano

Gagne takes Red Bull Rookies title despite Kent victory in Misano

The young American was crowned the 2010 Champion after finishing second to the Brit in the final race at Misano, after both battled to the very end for the title.

Jake Gagne won the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup by finishing second to Danny Kent in a fantastic close to the 2010 season at Misano on Saturday. Daijiro Hiura, the 16 year-old Japanese ride finished third in both race and Cup. Californian 17 year-old Gagne started from back on the third row of the grid while 16 year-old Briton Kent was on pole but Gagne jumped into fifth almost from the start and finished the first lap in fourth place with Kent leading.

Gagne had gone into the race with an 11-point advantage over Kent and while the Briton clearly had the pace to win he soon realised that he needed to also try and influence what happened behind, as Gagne moved into third on lap two behind 17 year-old Australian Josh Hook.

In a string of masterful moves Kent slowed the race down so that others could join the battle and hopefully push Gagne out of that essential third. It worked as Alessio Cappella, Kevin Calia, Daijiro Hiura, Daniel Ruiz, Brad Binder and Harry Stafford all joined the battle at the front.

“I realised what he was trying to do,” said Gagne. “He's clever and he needed to try and get the other guys between us. I gust kept my head down and knew that as long as I was close to him I had a good chance of getting the points I needed.”

Kent said: “I knew that I needed to get some other guys between us, just two was enough so I played it every way I could but Jake was just too good today and all credit to him he rode a great race. I did everything that I could, won the race but it wasn't enough. It's been a great season with a lot of great battles.”

Hiura was a little frustrated with third. “We were all so close that I didn't see my pit board and didn't realise it was the last lap. I really wanted to win the last race of the year,” he said.

It was an incredible win after a tough weekend for Gagne whose engine stopped in the first qualifying session meaning that he went out on an unfamiliar spare bike for the second. The race was also eventful as Hook highsided on lap eight and 15 year-old South African Binder fell swerving to avoid him. They were just behind the lead trio at the time, and fortunately neither were hurt but were out of the race.

Stepping down from the podium with his FIM Cup medal Gagne spoke of what the Rookies Cup has meant to him. “Just about all my road racing experience has been in the Rookies Cup,” explained the former motocross rider. “I started with the Rookies Cup in the US three years ago and then with these two years in the Rookies Cup in Europe I have learnt so much, not just the great GP tracks I've ridden on but so much about riding from the great coaches, Gustl (Auinger), Kevin (Schwantz) and Raul (Jara) and talking to the media, just everything to help me with my career.”


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