Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Hanika wins home race at Brno

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Hanika wins home race at Brno

Karel Hanika had the stadium section crowd erupting with a cacophony of horns and screams as he passed Manuel Pagliani halfway round the final lap to win his home race at Brno. The 17-year-old Czech fought off repeated attacks by the 17-year-old Italian for the rest of the tour while 15-year-old Spaniard Jorge Martín shadowed, ready to take advantage of any error.

Hanika and Pagliani touched as they climbed the rise into the last section but both stayed upright and Martín was third ahead Joe Roberts who had shared the battle for the lead for most of the race but fell back in the closing stages. The 16-year-old Californian missed out on the podium but went home with the lap record having bettered his own standard from 2011.

A second pack

The six-rider fight for fifth was every bit as intense as that for the win and it was only in the last few laps that 14-year-old Japanese Soushi Mihara broke away leaving Scott Deroue to take sixth just ahead of Marcos Ramirez, Diego Perez, Bradley Ray and Jordan Weaving.

Unluckiest man of the day was 16-year-old Turk Toprak Razgatlıoğlu who stalled on the middle of the front row of the grid. He had to start from the pit lane and then exceeded the pit lane speed and so had to serve a ride through penalty.

No easy win for Hanika

The day was Hanika's but it wasn't easy, he could not get close to his pole position pace. "That's right and I'm not sure why, I didn't get a great start and had to work hard to get to the lead. I didn't feel as confident on the bike as I did in qualifying, something didn't feel quite right but you have to race with what you have."

"There was no way that I could break away, Jorge and Manuel were riding very well and Manuel was particularly good both on the brakes and getting out of the corners so it was a very very tough race. When it came to the last lap I didn't have a plan, that wasn't possible, I just went as hard as I could and it worked. It is an incredible feeling to do it at home, the best race of my life."

Smooth Pagliani

Pagliani had ridden superbly, smooth and stylish all the way. "It was a great race, I was at the front all the way and really enjoyed it. Obviously I tried everything to win but on the last lap coming up the hill we touched and that put me in the wrong place for the last corners, that's racing."

Martín had not been happy with the bike at the end of qualifying but some good work from the Rookies technical staff and WP engineer resulted in just the right adjustment to the front forks. "The bike was really great, it was a tough, tough fight. I was looking for a way past on the last lap but Manuel and Karel were fighting hard and there was no way through. There's next weekend, I love Silverstone so I will go for it there."

All to play for

Hanika has extended his Cup points lead to 51 points over Martín. Pagliani has moved to third displacing Stefano Manzi who failed to score. The 14-year-old Italian crashed into 15-year-old fellow countryman Enea Bastianini as they battled in the lead group early on. Both tumbled heavily but escaped serious injury. Five races remain with 125 points on offer for the victories, the first two of those are at Silverstone next weekend.


Other updates you may be interested in ›