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Bastianini from Hanika and Manzi in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Bastianini from Hanika and Manzi in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Enea Bastianini got the better of Karel Hanika and Stefano Manzi to win a last-lap scrap that produced the closest finish of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez and claim his first victory in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.

It was the Italian's fourth race in the series but the 15-year-old Italian has been fast from the start of the year and he was the least surprised of anyone that he claimed victory.

“I felt I was fast and felt I could win the race,” he said simply. “Yesterday I was a bit uncomfortable on the brakes and I was third. But actually we didn't change anything on the bike for today, I just managed to win. It was a great race with Hanika; I just pushed to the maximum at the end, no plan, I just gave it full gas.”

Hanika not so happy

With a win and three finishes as runner-up from the first four races, Hanika has a huge points score and nothing to be ashamed about, but the 17-year-old Czech is a racer:

“I'm not happy to finish second again of course. It was another tough race, I pushed as hard as I could. Right from the start of the race I felt comfortable on the bike; it was working well so I was enjoying riding it and happy to be leading.”

“At the end I just tried to put in the perfect laps and hoped that was enough to win. Enea passed me and then I just got a sort of mental block that told me not to do anything silly at the last corner and that the points were more important. Of course that's true and it is important for the championship but it's not as much fun as winning.”

Manzi very happy

Manzi, the 14-year-old Italian, was thrilled with third:

“It was such a tough race - they always are in Rookies Cup. Yesterday I got stuck in the pack and just couldn't break out but I knew I could not let that happen today. I pushed so hard and at the end I really had a go at winning; I went past Hanika but then went wide and he got back in front, then I was just a bit too far back.”

The lead trio had been handed a real advantage when a ten-man battle for the lead was broken up by Darryn Binder suffering an engine failure on Lap 12 of the 16. It was the end of a storming ride for the 15-year-old South African in his first Cup season. He had cut his way through the pack to lead briefly and looked a good bet for a rostrum finish until the engine quit.

Photo finish

As he slowed the pack had to back off and swap lines, that was all the advantage the leading three needed to get clear. Then it was Saturday's winner Jorge Martin, the 15-year-old Spaniard, who charged home fourth ahead of 16-year-old Turk Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Bradley Ray, with the 15-year old Briton losing out in a photo finish to Toprak by 0.003 seconds.

The excellent run of podiums has certainly done good things for Hanika's points score as he heads into a seven-week break with a 28-point advantage over Martin, who in turn is just one ahead of Ray, with Razgatlıoğlu a further three behind. Victory boosts Bastianini to fifth and they all have to bide their time until practice starts at Assen on June 27th to try their KTM RC 250 Rs again, the next races are on Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th at the Dutch TT.

Simpson recovering

Olly Simpson, the 15-year-old Austrian who crashed at the start of Race 1 on Saturday, sustained a straightforward break to the radius bone in his left forearm. His dislocated right shoulder was put back into place at the track. He has a small crack in his right foot. He is now resting well. The FIM stewards determined that Lukas Trautmann, the 17-year-old Austrian, should miss three races for his part in the accident. That applied to Race 2 in Jerez as well as the two races in Assen.


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