Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Martin wins as Hanika crashes

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Jorge Martin brilliantly turned pole position at the Sachsenring into race victory while the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup leader Karel Hanika was dusting the dirt off his Alpinestars leathers after a last lap crash from the lead.

17-year-old Czech Hanika was trying to break away from a seven-rider battle for the win when the rear tyre let go, he caught the slide only to clash with Stefano Manzi as he tried to get back on line, then slid off the track unhurt.

Manzi, the 14-year-old Italian, held the lead but was then pounced on by Scott Deroue, the 17-year-old Netherlander who had Martin, the 15-year-old Spaniard, on his tail. When Deroue only changed down to fourth instead of third for the penultimate corner, the sweeping left-hander at the bottom of the hill, it killed his drive and both Martin and Manzi swept past to take first and second.

Deroue and Manzi to make changes

Deroue won last year's Race 1 and was not too distressed to mount the third step of the podium. “It was a great race, very tough, and I really thought I had it worked out on the last lap,” he said. “I was going for the win, had the lead, then just messed up the gears at the bottom of the hill. Still there is another chance tomorrow and I think that we can still improve the bike a little bit.”

Second placed Manzi also felt that there was more to come from the bike: “I think we can improve the rear suspension and that can help me but it was still a great race, so much fun and so hard. I was having a great time at the front, leading the race and then on the last lap I saw Hanika have a big problem, I thought he was off the track but then he came back and we touched. I hope it will be another great race tomorrow I will try my hardest again, as for the result, I really don't know.”

Martin knows it will be tough again

No bike problems for winner Martin, but he sees the trouble coming from elsewhere: “The bike was just great, it was good through qualifying and it was great in the race. It was a very tough race but I knew that I had the speed to run at the front and I also knew I was faster in the last sector so I just had to be in a good position for the last lap and that is how it worked out. For tomorrow the problem will be Hanika gain, with him on track it is always going to be very difficult.”

Hanika fortunately escaped with a small injury to a little finger and a knock to the helmet that he said was not serious. “I'm not happy, of course, but I was pushing and the rear tyre let go,” he explained. “It was well worn, just like in qualifying. The unlucky thing is that I saved it, was okay, then suddenly there was Manzi and I was on the ground. I will talk to the technical guys and see if we can improve the bike a bit for tomorrow, both front and rear.”

Many stars

There are plenty of others who featured in the battle for the lead in Race 1 and are likely to do so again in Race 2. First year Rookie Olly Simpson, the 15-year-old Australian got a great start from the second row and led the first lap. He fought hard against the more experienced men but was swallowed up in the pack and fell off on Lap 9.

Turkish 16-year-old Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took the fastest lap of the races as he clawed his way through the pack and at one time had the lead. He was then in the heart of the seven-rider battle and eventually crossed the line sixth. Manuel Pagliani, the 16-year-old Italian, had also fought his way through and took a well-deserved 4th ahead of Diego Perez who has done everything but get on the rostrum this year. “For Race 2 it is full gas right from the start,” said the 15-year-old Spaniard.

It is halfway through the 14-race Cup season and Hanika still heads the table by 17 points from Martin, but it is all too obvious how fragile that advantage is.

TAGS Germany

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