Bastianini wins Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup finale in Aragón

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The best lap of the year decided the final race of the 2013 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup as Enea Bastianini got the better of Stefano Manzi and Marcos Ramirez. The 15-year-old Italian took the victor's trophy but no one rode that final 5.078 km (3.155 miles) better than Toprak Razgatlıoğlu.

16-year-old Turk Razgatlıoğlu was half a second behind the leading trio going onto the final lap but cut his way to the front in sensational style. He led onto the back straight but the smaller men behind picked up his slipstream and he was powerless to prevent their passing. He crossed the line fourth ahead of Diego Perez, Joan Mir and Jorge Martín.

Bastianini's hard work

Take nothing Bastianini, though, he had also ridden superbly from 12th on the grid, clawing his way through the lead group and only making his play right at the end.

"It was hard work coming from the fourth row," he explained, sweating profusely as he took his helmet off.  "I just pushed and pushed. The bike was working great everywhere except the last corner, through the long fast left the front was pattering around and I was fighting it there. On the last lap I just got the perfect slipstream going down the back straight and held on through that last left, nothing was going to stop me winning."

The race could have gone to any of ten riders, but it was Cup winner Karel Hanika who looked strongest as he headed the pack mid-race. The 17-year-old Czech remained unruffled as Manzi, Ramirez and company took their chances to lead but the opportunity to secure his 11th Rookies Cup win of his two-season career and the eighth of 2013 ended on Lap 12 of the 15 with a technical failure.

Open to anyone

That seemed to inspire everyone else. The first to pick up the gauntlet was Scott Deroue, but the 17-year-old Dutchman slid off a lap later.

"I saw Hanika go out and I realised it was my chance - I knew I could lead the pack, as I did yesterday, and tried to push hard and get away. I think I just pushed too hard and the front folded on me."

It then looked five abreast at times, with Manzi and Ramirez both looking for their first Cup victories. Onto the last lap it was Manzi, the 14-year-old Italian, who led Bastianini across the line with Ramirez, the 15-year-old Spaniard, a close third.

Turkish determination

Razgatlıoğlu had been nowhere near the front, was 11th with four laps to go and had only just caught the lead pack having been way behind. He simply was not to be denied.

"I did everything I could," he recalled. "Early on I was behind Pagliani and actually he was holding me up a bit as we tried to catch the lead group; he then had a problem then I was clear and could catch them. I knew I had a chance, my last chance - I just went for it. I got through to the front but they all just came past down the straight.... that was it, I did what I could."

Manzi picked up his fourth second of the season after his third third yesterday:

"Another fun race, hard again to come from tenth on the grid. I really thought I could win it on the last lap, had the slipstream and went for it, but Enea closed me out at the last corner and that was it. Still, a great end to the year."

Victory denied

A fifth third place for Ramirez. "Yes, a win would have been better," admitted the Spanish Championship leader who slid off on Saturday while battling for the lead and was, like Manzi, still looking for his first Cup win in their second season. "I had the front sliding again today. I don't know why but it was a real problem. Still another great race - it just could have been two places better."

Selection Event

The Selection Event for the 2014 Rookies Cup intake will be held at the Monteblanco circuit near Seville on October 16th, 17th and 18th, where over 100 riders from 28 nations will try to be part of next year's race action.

TAGS Aragon

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