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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Deroue wins, Hanika crashes

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Deroue wins, Hanika crashes

Scott Deroue won Race 2 of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Silverstone and Karel Hanika did not win the Cup. It all came down to an incredible last lap and, while 17-year-old Dutchman Deroue got in front and out of trouble, points leader Hanika, the 17-year-old Czech, was knocked down with less than half a lap to go.

His only remaining points rival, 15-year-old Spaniard Jorge Martin, was then dramatically brought down as Joe Roberts, the 16-year-old American, highsided right in front of him in the final section.

Crucial points

While Hanika had stalled the bike and could not restart, Martin remounted to pick up just four points, his only score from the weekend but enough to keep his title hopes mathematically alive. Just three races remain in the Cup season and though Hanika leads by 72 points there are 75 still on offer.

It had been a 15-rider battle from the start and, while a few dropped back, it was still a pack of eight who could take the rostrum places as Hanika took the lead heading out into the final lap; he had done the same in Race 1, when it worked perfectly as those behind cannoned into each other. This time Hanika could not get even the slightest advantage, Deroue was determined to win and so was 15-year-old Spaniard Diego Perez. As Perez opened the throttle a touch too hard, the rear Dunlop let go and as he wrestled for control the bike went left and into Hanika who was knocked down.

Dutch and Spanish celebrations

Deroue was given a clear advantage and when, a few seconds later, Roberts and Martin also fell, the other podium places were handed to Joan Mir, who celebrated his 16th birthday with second, and 15-year-old Spaniard Marcos Ramirez who took third as he had on Saturday.

After a largely disappointing season so far, Deroue was thrilled with the end to an odd weekend: "The bike was great from early on because the WP guys did such a great job with the setting. I was quick through Free Practice but then when we put the new tyres in for Qualifying suddenly the bike felt quite strange and I was a second slower than I had been on old tyres in Free Practice, that's why I qualified on the fifth row.

"Race 1 was good, though, until I crashed with Martin. 'Sorry Jorge'. Then in Race 2 I was determined to make it a good one. After I made it to the front it was all pretty crazy, a lot of overtaking but I managed to get in front on the last lap and I had no idea what was going on behind. Did I have much of a lead across the line?..."

Tough rides to second and third

Such was the drama behind Deroue that his advantage was 0.646 seconds over Mir, who was equally thrilled: "My first podium in Rookies Cup and so much fun. The bike was really great and after I caught up to the front it was such a fun fight - I was leading, then overtaken, back and forth, just a great race."

Ramirez was also in the heart of the action at the front, even stronger than he had been on Saturday: "It was another very hard race. It is funny; in Race 1 I had a bit of trouble with the rear sliding too much towards the end, we changed the rear a bit for Race 2, but now I was battling the front a bit. Still, another great podium and I want to carry on like that at Misano."

Cup challengers reflect

Though Hanika had hung his head in despair immediately after abandoning his attempt to rejoin, just a few minutes later he realised that everything was far from lost: "I have to accept that the race for the Cup goes on. It was another hard race and this time I think it got a little too crazy towards the end. I don't really agree with the way that some of the guys were riding, but I still thought I could win it. Perez went wide, I had the drive but then he slid and came across - there was nothing I could do."

And what did Martin have to say? "Nothing," he answered with a shrug and just a hint of his usual smile. "It all was a bit too crazy. I would get in front and try and pull away but someone always came past and it was impossible. Okay, so there is still the possibility for the championship, but just four points from the weekend.... not good."


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