The dramatic Jerez round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup ended with a fabulous victory for Spanish 16-year-old Daniel Holgado. He fought off all-comers at the final corner to cross the line first but several of them had long lap penalties and ultimately second went to Diogo Moreira ahead of Alex Millan. Points leader David Alonso was one of those with the penalty and that dropped him to 8th and cost him enough points to give Holgado the Cup lead by 4.
It had been a stunning KTM RC 250 R battle from the start and again a lead group of 10 traded places at every turn. Holgado did most of the leading just as he did on Saturday only to lose out on the last lap. This time he managed to break away slightly in the second half of the race chased by Brazilian 17-year-old Moreira. But in giving chase Moreira had exceeded track limits too many times.
Moreira took his long lap penalty with 6 laps to go but incredibly fought back and made a lunge for the lead on the final lap. That didn't work but he was in the lead group at the line and took second when 15-year-old Colombian Alonso and Saturday's winner 14-year-old Spaniard David Muñoz failed to take their late penalties and were given 3 second penalties post race.
Holgado triumphs: "This race was incredible for me. Difficult but I am happy for me and my team. Today the difference was the last corner, yesterday it was very difficult for me but today, much better. The bike was great today, we made a very good set-up and it was fun to ride. The track conditions were difficult with the temperature but I could manage the situation, I enjoyed the race and am ready for the next in Mugello. I believe that I can win there again."
Diogo Moreira went for the win: "The race was very good, I enjoyed it a lot. When I saw I had a long lap penalty I knew I had to do it as soon as possible. After I did it I knew I had to get with the group again for the last laps. On the last lap I tried to win the race but I didn't, that's racing and I'm happy. Jerez is my favourite circuit, from FP1 I was fast and I enjoyed it from the start. All weekend I tried to make my laps alone so that I would have the best chance to win the race and I tried to escape the group but I am still happy with the weekend. Mugello I have never ridden before, I need to try and win the race."
Alex Millan on track: "It was a very hard race, faster than Portimão, it was hard to stay on the track and not do some track limits because all the riders were fighting and very fast. In the final laps I told myself to be as controlled as possible, I saw my long lap penalty and did it as fast as possible and be ready for what would happen in the last corner. We did good work in practice for the bike set-up, I like the track and I am always fast here," stated the 16-year-old Spaniard. Mugello will be a new track for me but we are fighting for the podium in the first races and it will be new for most of the Rookies so I hope I will be fighting at the front there as well."
Matteo Bertelle misses the podium: "The race was difficult," explained the 17-year-old Italian after taking a fine 4th. "The pace was strong but I am happy with the feeling for the bike, thanks to my mechanic Frederico for doing such a great job. It was a difficult race because the pace was so strong and the tyre was finished in the last laps. Jerez is one of my favourite tracks, I am happy, I was just one position off the podium, because Millan got inside me at the last corner. Today I made a much better start, yesterday was terrible, we had the restart and the clutch wasn't good. Today was much better, I was concentrated and it went well. I have more power for Mugello, I want to improve my position on the grid and also in the race."