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By Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

David Alonso blitzes opening Rookies Cup round in Portimao

The Colombian won by four seconds as the race for the podium goes down to the wire

David Alonso brilliantly broke free of an intense lead battle to dominate the opening round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Portimão. The chasing pack of six blasted across the line together with pole man Diogo Moreira getting the verdict over Marcos Uriarte and Daniel Holgado.

A week ahead of his 15th birthday, Colombian Alonso had qualified fifth and while 16-year-old Brazil Moreira made a perfect getaway to lead he was hounded into the first corner. Alonso grabbed the lead going onto lap 2 chased by 15-year-old Spaniard David Muñoz.

Iván Ortolá and Àlex Millan completed the lead group of six with Uriarte working hard to catch them after a poor start. Alonso made the convincing break at half distance and the pack slowed each other with desperate infighting all the way to the finish.

Red Bull Rookies Cup: Race 1 in Portimao

Alonso was perfect:

"An incredible win because before the race I tried to make this plan to escape from the group and run alone all race and finally I could do it," explained Alonso who had a single victory from his debut season last year in Aragón. "I think I rode well and I also had a lot of fun. At the beginning we had some fights, I did well in the fight so tomorrow if we have to fight again we are strong.

"I made a good start and tried to take first as soon as possible, I couldn't get away so I had to try again and then I could make it."

"The bike was very good, only for tomorrow, depending on the wind we might change the gearing but the setting of the bike is perfect I really liked it. Today there was a lot of wind but I ran near the wall on the straight where there was less wind."

Moreira with a great ride from pole:

"I feel very good, it is my first race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and my first podium," enthused Moreira. "I am very happy for this and say thanks to my team and my family. I thought I could win and for sure tomorrow I will try again.

"It was difficult because the wind was very strong and we had very hard battles with the other riders."

Uriarte not thrilled with 3rd:

"I started badly and I had to push to the limit to close the gap with the lead group. When I arrived I had destroyed the tyre. But I am happy because I managed very well the last laps and got third position. It's good for the championship.

"The next race I can win but I need to improve my start. I raced with a different transmission (gearing) a little bit longer and for the start the first is a little bit long and a lot of riders overtook me. Depending on the wind for tomorrow, we might change. The wind was against me today so the bike didn't get all the speed."

Holgado fought all the way:

"I am happy, I did a good race and I had made a good job yesterday with the set-up of the bike. I am glad for that and tomorrow I have another opportunity. Tomorrow I will try to race with David (Alonso) and go with him."

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