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Pedro Acosta could hardly improve on the four straight wins that started the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season in Austria, but he managed to do exactly that over 15 thrilling laps of Aragon in Race 1. The 16-year-old Spaniard couldn’t break free of the pack in Spielberg, but he achieved that superbly o Saturday.
It was the same hungry challengers fighting it out and chasing him all the way again with Daniel Holgado finally leading Ivan Ortola across the line for an all-Spanish podium.
It looked from the start like a repeat of the Austrian races with a pack swapping places at every turn. Acosta tried to break away early but couldn't, Holgado particularly hung on grimly to the #37 KTM RC 250 R.
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Race 1 in Aragon
"I started from pole but you know, really this means nothing," explained Acosta. "What was important is that at about lap 8 when the tyre performance went down I could still keep the lap time. That was what gave me the break so I could open up a gap. I kept it smooth and kept the lap time. It will be difficult to manage that again tomorrow but I will try."
"The track condition was not the same as yesterday, the temperature was down I think and the grip not as good but my bike is working well in all conditions and I also prepared myself for this," concluded Acosta.
Holgado never gave up
"It was a difficult race," stated the 15-year-old who was less than a second behind Acosta at the flag. "The track just did not have the same grip as Qualifying, I didn't have the same feeling, the same confidence. Especially towards the end, with the tyre warn, the rear was sliding around a lot and I had a big slide at the last corner. Still 2nd is really good, I am happy with that."
In the battle at the front from the start the 16-year-old slipstreamed Holgado into the last corner and looked perfectly placed for a challenge. At the last corner I was trying to overtake Dani (Holgado) coming out onto the straight but then he had a slide and I almost hit him, I missed my chance. I'm happy with the bike and it really worked well, good to be on the podium, and we try again tomorrow."
Salvador missing confidence
David Salvador won the final race of the 2019 season at Aragon but the 16-year-old Spaniard just fell short this time and missed out on a podium place over the last 2 laps after battling all the way. "I am very happy for the result, good to be 4th but I was not happy with the feeling in the race."
"The bike just didn't feel anything like it did yesterday in Qualifying. We have to see if we can change something for tomorrow, I need to get that feeling back."
Alonso came back once
David Alonso, the 14-year-old Colombian had a brilliant ride with two 'penalties' on his way to 5th. "I am happy because I was fighting well in the group. Then I touched with David Muñoz and lost a lot of time from the group. I fought back to them but then got a long lap penalty. So again I had a big gap and this time the tyre was worn and I could not catch up again. I couldn't fight for the podium today but I learn and try again tomorrow."
Van Eerde making a great comeback
"It was a difficult race," explained Billy van Eerde, the 18-year-old Australian. "The first race back after breaking my femur. I was being a bit conservative about that because I didn't want to crash. But no, it was a good race. At the beginning I made a mistake and dropped back to 17th and in the end I got back to 6th so for the first race back after injury I'm quite happy with it."
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