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2 days ago
By Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Red Bull Rookies take on Aragon for the finale

Three title contenders prepare to charge as the 2017 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup draws to a close

Three riders can still take the Cup home, to Japan, to Turkey, or Spain. MotorLand Aragon will decide the destination – which means deciding the destiny of 16-year-old Japanese Kazuki Masaki, who currently heads the table with 169 points. Long-time Championship leader Can Öncü, the 14-year-old Turk, is chasing on 154, and 16-year-old Spaniard Aleix Viu comes into his home race with 142.

KTM’s King of Aragon

When the KTM RC 250 Rs lineup this weekend, those three will have their eyes on the ultimate goal of claiming the Cup itself, but the rest of the field are thinking about their chances of taking a race win or even a podium to end the season.

Favourite for one race glory is Ai Ogura, the 16-year-old Japanese who has won two of the last three races and almost seemed happy with just those – he does smile a lot when he wins. However, he has missed four races this year and only stands sixth in the title chase. He will have to be at his best to finish in front of Deniz Öncü, the 14-year-old Turkish twin who is looking for his third win of the season, and German 17-year-old Matthias Meggle who is still hunting his first.

Keeping their dreams alive

There is quite a list of riders who could claim their first Cup victory in the 12th and 13th races of the 11th Cup season. Ryusei Yamanaka, Kevin Orgis and Omar Bonoli are obvious candidates; the first two have already been on the podium this year, while Bonoli was well in the hunt until he slid off last time out in Misano.

Keep in mind 15-year-old Czech Filip Salač who missed most of the year with an injured leg. He was quick on his return in Misano, finishing 5th, and should be even stronger in Aragon.

MotorLand Aragon is where the year started with the pre-season test, so they all know where they are going except Peetu Paavilainen, the 15-year-old Finn who missed those three days. The luckless teen has only ridden in five races including Misano. He is very talented though, and could well shake up those who have been riding all year.

Keen to go out on a high

Somehow, the rest of the season seems to be forgotten when it comes to the finale. As the saying goes, ‘you are only as good as your last race’, and the offseason is long. Three riders want the historic permanence of claiming the Rookies Cup title – the rest just want to carry a race winning trophy into the offseason.

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