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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Martin beats Hanika to pole

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Martin beats Hanika to pole

Jorge Martin set a blistering pace in the first qualifying session for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup round at the Sachsenring. The 15-year-old Spaniard held pole even though Cup leader, Karel Hanika, the 17-year-old Czech and a back-to-form Scott Deroue, the 17-year-old Dutchman, came very close.

"I'm so happy with that," said Martin. "That's my first pole and it feels great. We had so many problems in the free practice this morning but the technical guys did a fantastic job to sort out the suspension and it was such a pleasure to ride in the afternoon."

"For the second session we just made another slight change and it was a little better still but the rear tyre was quite worn and I just wanted to concentrate on setting my own pace and doing consistent good laps like I want to in the race tomorrow," concluded Martin who got within two tenths of his first session mark.

Close but....

Hanika was only slightly quicker than Martin in Q2 and still 0.172 from the pole. "The race is tomorrow," stated the blond who was fastest all through pre season testing and had pole for the first three race events. "I knew after the first session that we had to improve the bike a bit and I had to find something myself. We did a little of both and improved the bike through the session but by the end the rear tyre was spent and I was still struggling a little when pushing the front really hard. That's OK, I think it will be a great race."

Completing the front row did not make Deroue ecstatic. "I'm happy but not at the same time," he explained. "I am happy to be running at the front again, we struggled so much early in the year and Assen was a big turnaround. Now I am to the front again but it is still not perfect, step by step we are getting the bike to the way I like it but we are not quite there yet, hopefully we will be close enough tomorrow to race for the win."

Heading the second row, 15-year-old Spaniard Diego Perez had no such problems. "The bike really has been great this afternoon I really enjoyed riding it and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. I am determined to get on the podium."

Two fast newcomers

With the top four places taken by the more experienced Rookies it was down to Joan Mir to be the fastest of the first year teens. "That's my best qualifying so far and to be honest I'm surprised, I didn't think I was going that fast and I don't know why," admitted the 15-year-old Spaniard. "I had a lot of fun and the bike was pretty good, we could still get it working a little better but I'm so happy to be towards the front and I can't wait for the race."

Olly Simpson completes Row 2 and the 15-year-old Australian said he felt quite at home. "We have a few tracks in Australia that rise and fall like this and have corners that all flow together so I was really enjoying it from the start. It's a great track, quite difficult to learn but it's working out OK and we made a few improvements to the bike that also helped."


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