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Martin leads Rookies Cup heading to Sachsenring

Martin leads Rookies Cup heading to Sachsenring

After five fascinatingly different Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races the competition heads to Sachsenring and the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland to close out the first half of the season with two further races.

Series leader Jorge Martin is only one of four different winners so far but the 16-year-old Spaniard has this down as one of his favourite circuits and is looking for his first double.

Last year it was at the Sachsenring that Martin offered the greatest threat to Karel Hanika's domination and while last year's Cup winner has now moved on to the Moto3™ World Championship Martin is determined to follow.

Martin's single win so far this season came at Mugello when he looked in a different class to the 23 other Rookies but he rode equally superbly last time out at Assen. Even though he did not feel particularly comfortable with the bike settings he still scored second places in both races, wet and dry.

Martin's nearest challenger in the points is Japanese 14-year-old Soushi Mihara who has already had wins this year in Jerez and Assen. Showing that he too has dry and wet weather racing skills. He needs more consistency if he is to challenge Martin for the Cup but is learning all the time and is in only his second season while Martin is in year three.

Last year Martin won Race 1 at the Sachsenring only to crash out of Race 2 while it looked as though a double was on the cards. Mihara scored an eighth and a sixth, a significant step up for his results in the first season and a sign that he too felt very at home on the twisty and demanding circuit.

Stefano Manzi picked up a second and a third last year while Manuel Pagliani took a fourth and a second so the two Italians have their sights set on doing better this time round. 17-year-old Pagliani lies third in the title chase with no immediate threat from fourth placed Bo Bendsneyder as the 14-year-old Netherlander and Dutch race winner will be sitting out the weekend due to an arm injury sustained at last weekend's Spanish Championship round.

Manzi is down in fifth place in the standings and the 15-year-old Italian knows that he can blame that at least in part on his over enthusiasm in the wet in the Netherlands when he crashed out early while leading Race 1. On equal points is Joan Mir, the 16-year-old Spaniard, who won Race 2 in Jerez.

Mir will be looking for another win and Manzi his first as the 22 Rookies line up on Saturday for Race 1 on their identical KTM RC 250 Rs. Unfortunately Makar Yurchenko will not be one of them as the 15-year-old from Kazakstan is still recovering from his arm injuries, also sustained in a non Rookies Cup race.

There are plenty of others who could take their first Cup victory including the man who led into turn one last year, Olly Simpson. The 16-year-old Australian is tied on points for seventh place in the title chase with 17-year-old Briton Brad Ray. Both have the skills to take on anyone in the battle for the two wins on offer this weekend in front of the fanatical Sachsenring crowd at one of the most atmospheric events on the calendar.


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