Flat out to Assen for the Rookies Cup

The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup riders will compete in two races at the Dutch GP

From the rolling hills of Tuscany, the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup head across the open polders of the Netherlands to Assen which hosts two races this weekend.

As ever, the racing in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup is incredibly close, with 1.5 seconds covering the top 13 riders in Mugello. So, who will come out on top in Assen?

In last season’s mixed conditions, current Championship leader Can Ӧncü sealed an impressive double victory on Dutch soil. The 14-year-old Turk won Race 1 in Jerez and has since finished second twice, will he be able to add another victory to his name this weekend to extend his seven-point lead over Carlos Tatay?

Newcomer Tatay won on home soil in Jerez and took fourth in Italy to sit just seven points behind Can Ӧncü in the overall standings. Fellow newcomer Yuki Kunii was victorious at Mugello to propel himself to third in the Championship, however the 15-year-old Japanese rider will have to sit out Assen after breaking his arm last week.

There are plenty of others keen to take up the challenge, including Adrián Carrasco who finished a great third in Mugello to propel himself to eighth in the Championship. Can the Spaniard continue his good form in the Netherlands?

15-year-old Czech rider Filip Salač sits fifth in the title chase, one place behind the second of the Öncü twins, Deniz. Both Deniz and Filip were a little unlucky in Italy after being on the podium in Jerez and may well prove serious title threats.

With Kunii out, Japan's hopes rest with 16-year-old Ryusei Yamanaka, who sits sixth in the overall standings. 15-year-old Xavier Artigas crossed the line fifth in Italy and sits seventh, with 16-year-old Sean Kelly carrying the stars-and-stripes this season – the American is currently ninth in the Championship. Belgium’s Barry Baltus is already performing well in his first season and having only turned 14 a couple of months ago, he is the youngest on the track and tenth overall in the standings.

Lights go out for Race 1 on Saturday, 16:30 local time, with Race 2 getting underway at 17:30 on Sunday.