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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies: Scholtz dominates in the rain

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies: Scholtz dominates in the rain

Mathew Scholtz set a stunning pole time in two soaking wet sessions on Friday afternoon to qualify ahead of lap record holder Matthew Hoyle, Sturla Fagerhaug and Cup leader JD Beach.

The 15 year old South African was less than a second faster than his rivals but what makes his success so impressive is that he has almost no rain experience and had never seen the track before.

`I just liked it right from the start, I like the fast flowing corners and there seems to be plenty of grip in the wet. In the free practice it was dry and it's a bit bumpy but my motocross helps there and I don't mind the bike jumping around a bit,´ said Scholtz who was 5th fastest in the free practice before heading both qualifying sessions.

Hoyle, the 17 year old Briton who finished second at Brno last year, was fastest in the dry free session and always battling for pole in the wet. `I just enjoy this track, fast corners and it seems to suit my style. I'm looking forward to the race wet or dry.´

Luis Salom is certainly hoping for 2 dry races this weekend as he battles Beach for the Cup but the 17 year old Spaniard was actually quite happy with his 6th place in the wet. `The first qualifying session was so bad, I was so terrible,´ said Salom, laughing at himself. `Then in the second session I began to get a bit of feeling for the track and the grip and started to go better. I moved up the leaderboard and my lap time is not so different from JD and the other guys around me so I am quite happy with that,´ concluded Salom who has yet to star in the wet this year.

Arch rival Beach has little wet weather experience but headed Salom through most of the wet sessions even though he too did not make an impression early on. `I was pretty slow at first. I just didn't have any feeling for what the track was like. Then I started to feel the grip and got going a bit. In the end it was not too bad,´ said the 17 year old American who has a 7 point advantage over Salom with the two races this weekend to decide the Cup.

Just ahead of Beach on the grid is 16 year old Norwegian Sturla Fagerhaug who swapped places with Scholtz and Hoyle at the head of the table all through the two sessions. `It would have been nice to be fastest but there was no sense in crashing and the front row is good. All I need is a good start now,´ said Fagerhaug who has suffered so often at the start of the race. `It's always fun to have a dry race but for me the wet will be OK too, I'm looking forward to it.´

Nico Thoeni put in a very impressive performance to claim 5th on the grid. The 13 year old Austrian is riding in only his 3rd Rookies race. `I have raced here twice before in the European Championship and I really like the track, I like the way it goes up and down hill, the fast corners. For me the race can be wet or dry, I don't mind.´

The penultimate Cup race of the season is on Saturday afternoon and the result of that will determine grid positions for the last race of the year on Sunday afternoon following the MotoGP race.


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