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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup all set for Assen

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup all set for Assen

The Dutch TT at Assen is always a special event on the calendar and has been part of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup since its inception in 2007. In the last three years the eventual Cup champion has won at least one of the two races at the famous circuit.

It is 17-year-old Czech Karel Hanika who heads the points table going into race five of the 14-race season and, while he has only won a single race - the second on the opening weekend in Austin - his string of three second places puts him clear of the his nearest rival, Jorge Martin, by 28 points.

It can all change

Nothing is predictable in the Rookies Cup, though, and a slightest error by Hanika will be seized upon not only by Martin but by Bradley Ray who is a single point astern of the 15-year-old Spaniard and by Toprak Razgatlıoğlu who is a further three behind the 16-year-old Briton. Both Ray and Martin have already won races this year as has Enea Bastianini, the 15-year-old Italian who is fifth in the standings. He is another four points behind Turkish 16-year-old Razgatlıoğlu and arguably the man on a charge as his results have gone 15th, ninth, third and first across the opening four races and he, like Razgatlıoğlu, is in his first season. Both are learning fast.

Turn around

Sixth in the table is Scott Deroue. The 17-year-old Dutchman has had, by his standards, a disappointing season so far, with sixth, seventh, ninth and seventh place finishes when last year he spent his time on or near the podium, won three races and finished second in the standings.

He is racing at home of course, and that will add to the pressure, but he is brim full of confidence having dominated the German Moto3 Championship round at Oschersleben with victories in both races - just the platform from which to turn his Rookies season around.

As is tradition, the weekend starts early in Assen with practice and qualifying on Thursday. Race 1 is on Friday at 4:30pm local time (GMT +2) and on Saturday Race 2 will light up the day of Grand Prix action at the unusual time of 10.25 in the morning - a great way to start the day of World Championship drama.


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