Bradley Ray wins season-opening race for Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Bradley Ray obliterated the opposition to win the first race of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for 2013 leaving pole man Karel Hanika and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu to cross the line over 6 seconds behind.

The 15-year-old Briton had set off from 4th on the grid but after realising he had pace over Hanika he passed the 17-year-old Czech and soon opened up a comanding advantage.

Razgatlıoğlu, the 16-year-old Turk, had qualified 8th and joined Hanika in battling for the remaining rostrum places with Stefano Manzi, Scott Deroue, Manuel Pagliani, Diego Perez and Tarran Mackenzie. On lap 5 of the 12 Manzi, the 14-year-old Italian, crashed spectacularly when his rear wheel touched Deroue's elbow as the pair changed direction. The 17-year-old Dutchman stayed upright and continued the fight.

Work still to be done

The drama behind helped Ray but he really needed no assistance as he reeled off the laps that were at times about 2 seconds quicker than the chasing pack. "It wasn't that easy. I knew from the start that I had to go with Hanika, he was quicker than all of us in practice. I managed that then I realised that I could go quicker so went in front."

"We had changed the bike after practice because I had chatter problems in the front. We put in harder springs but that actually made it worse. It was really bad, I just rode as fast as I was comfortable and I knew that if that wasn't fast enough to win I couldn't go any quicker. We are definitely going to change the front for tomorrow."

Similarly Hanika felt that things could have gone better. "That may have looked exciting but honestly it was one of the worst races I have ever had. I was battling everywhere and the settings that worked for qualifying were not right at all. The track is changing with use and we have to change the bike. I really want to do better tomorrow."

It is a new circuit for everyone, the first ever motorcycle race at the Circuit of The Americas and the first race of the season with the brand new Moto3 spec KTM RC 250 R so not surprising that the riders are both learning the track and learning how to make the bikes work better.

Razgatlıoğlu also intends to look at the settings before Race 2. "I hope we can improve the bike but I really enjoyed the race. It all came down to the last few corners between me and Karel. I was determined to get ahead but I guess he was just as determined to get back at me. I am happy with the way I rode though and looking forward to Race 2."

Learning from mistakes

Missing from the result was Mackenzie, the 17-year-old Scot had fought his way through from 12th on the grid into a podium position only to have the front fold on him with two laps to go. He was unhurt as was Californian 15-year-old Joe Roberts who shot through from the sixth row of the grid to battle for the lead on lap 1 only to slide off before completing the lap.

"No one seemed to know where to brake for the first corner," explained Roberts. "So I just went round the outside of most of them. After I fell I thought I might as well get something out of the race so I used it as practice, changed the set-up a few times in the pits and tried to improve the bike for tomorrow."

TAGS Americas

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