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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Hanika's victory as Manzi falls

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Hanika's victory as Manzi falls

Karel Hanika continued his run of success in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup with his second win of the season a perfectly judged victory at the Dutch TT. The 17-year-old Czech was pushed all the way, first by local hero Scot Deroue, also 17, and then when the Dutchman fell it was 14-year-old Italian Stefano Manzi who raced with him wheel to wheel until he too, slid off at the final corner.

"It was a hard race," said Hanika. "Both Scott and Stefano put up great fights. I wish they had both been there to cross the line because they really were riding well. It was great to have Scotty up the front again and then in the end Stefano and I had a really good battle."

"In the last laps I had to let him lead because I wanted to be in the position to pass him at either the fast, second-to-last corner or the final chicane. In the end it was on the brakes into the chicane, we were side by side but we didn't touch, he slid off, a shame but that's racing. A great race and great for the championship," concluded Hanika who opened his advantage to 33 points over Jorge Martin, the 15-year-old Spaniard who crossed the line ahead of fellow countryman Marcos Ramirez, also 15.

Jorge Martin second

Martin had a lonely race in what was initially fourth as he chased Hanika, Deroue and Manzi and was closing in on them but just couldn't get there. "I was pushing to catch them but in the end I couldn't," said Martin. "The bike setup just wasn't quite right and I knew that I couldn't push any harder or I was taking a big risk of crashing."

It was probably a wise choice as he picked up second while Deroue and Manzi were left to wonder what they might have done different. "I was happy at least to be racing at the front again," said Deroue who had been off the leaderboard in the first two weekends of the season. "For once I got a great start and then Hanika and I had a great fight. Then Manzi passed and got ahead, I went to go after him and slid off, I wasn't doing anything crazy, I don't know what happened really. Still there is tomorrow and I want to race at the front again."

Manzi's last corner error

Manzi knew exactly what happened when he fell at the final corner "We came down to the last chicane, I was going into the corner too fast but it was either that or let Karel win. It was a great race though, I did not push so hard from the start because the track temperature was so cold and I wanted to be sure the tyres were working well. Then I saw that Hanika and Deroue were getting away from the pack so I went after them. I had a lot of fun and hopefully I can do the same tomorrow.

Ramirez had to fight hard for that final rostrum position, just flashing across the line ahead of South African 16-year-old Jordan Weaving, Joe Roberts, the 16-year-old American and 15 year old Spaniard Diego Perez who had a titanic battle for those places. "It was such a great race," said Ramirez who leads the Spanish Moto3 Championship. "We were fighting and passing everywhere. On the last lap I just gave it everything and came out in front, so great."


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