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2020 has been MotoGP™’s most dramatic year to date and its eSport series has also delivered. Most notably in the European and African regional final of the WINDTRE Rising Stars Series, in which a pulsating all-Italian battle ended in victory for Vindex813.
A new initiative for 2020, the WINDTRE Rising Stars Series is a new talent-spotting programme which required young hopefuls from around the world to tackle four Online Challenges in which Gamers are divided into three categories, depending on their location. These three are the Americas (North and South), Asia and Oceania and finally Europe and Africa.
Eleven of the fastest young gamers from Europe and Africa fought each other in a dramatic ten-lap thriller at Spain’s Motorland Aragon Circuit, a track that demands a variety of skills, from cornering ability to braking prowess. Each of the eleven contestants represented a current MotoGP team.
The race was broadcast live on MotoGP™ eSport YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, on MotoGP™ social channels, esport.motogp.com, motogp.com and selected TV broadcast partners. Motogp.com’s Jack Appleyard and Jack Gorst were on hand to provide commentary for the show.
Victory here was always going to be tough in a field stacked with quality. Vindex813, PieroRicciuti55, who is LCR Honda Castol’s entry and Pramac Ducati’s Jack Hammer4658 are the replacement riders for their respective teams in this year’s MotoGP™ eSport Global Series and came into this heat having scored 100, 95 and 90 points respectively in the Online Challenges.
This encounter came down to the final lap between the Italians. Having led for much of the race, PieroRicciuti55 was on course for a famous win. But a late attack from Vindex813 at turn 15 on the final lap led to contact between the Italian pair, saw PieroRicciuti55 crash, and Vindex813 have enough in hand to take a dramatic win.
That crash allowed Jack Hammer4658 to take full advantage, and bring his Pramac Ducati home in second place with Avintia Ducati’s Simopiova26 rounding out the podium with a fine ride to third. PieroRicciuti55 eventually came home in a frustrating fourth. DarkBright1, wearing Petronas SRT Yamaha colours, was a strong fifth, ahead of Red Bull KTM’s RiccardoBottaro64.
The stakes in the Regional Finals couldn’t be higher, with the winner in each category (Americas, Europe and Africa) receiving a guaranteed place in the MotoGP™ eSport Draft Selection in 2021. Vindex813 will now have plenty of time to further enhance his skills to take on the very best in the MotoGP™ eSport world next year.