Sessler takes a sensational victory in a drama-packed Race 1
Rocco Sessler (MCA Racing) stunned the field with a superb ride in Race 1, continuing his incredible progression as both rider and Championship challenger. Starting the last lap in fourth position he timed his bid for victory to perfection, overcoming Championship leader Lenoxx Phommara (Team Phommara), Italian wonderboy Matteo Masili (Fairium Next Generation Riders Team) and teammate Julius Frellsen (MCA Racing) to take what was a victory to savour, all done with pride on home soil.
Proceedings began as expected, with serial fast-starter Matteo Masili blasting his way forward from second on the grid to claim the holeshot, ahead of polesitter Lenoxx Phommara. He didn't hold the lead for long though as rivals Lenoxx Phommara and Rocco Sessler punished the Italian as we went wide at T11.
But on Lap 2 a mechanical problem from Anakin Zelenak (JRP Racing Academy Team) caused a multi-rider incident at T12, bringing out the red flags, and forcing Dutch hotshot Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) to retire, the rider left lamenting two DNFs in just three races - a disappointing haul for such a promising rider.
On the restart it was Masili yet again with a fast start, but Lenoxx Phommara was having none of it, placing his bike expertly on the inside to hold the line and push the Italian out wide and retake the lead. Having topped all the practice and qualifying sessions, most considered the normal running order to have resumed, but it just wasn't to be. And why? Ask the fast-learner and sharp-minded Frellsen who appeared out of nowhere to claim the lead.
And so we enjoyed an 8 lap battle between Lenoxx Phommara, Matteo Masili, Rocco Sessler and Julius Frellsen, the four swapping positions frequently during the exciting melee. It looked to be all wrapped-up as the race drew to a close with the clinical Julius Frellsen continuing his unforgettable debut ride at the circuit and leading the pack of four riders.
But someone else had their eyes on the prize, and it was Frellsen's very own teammate, Rocco Sessler, aptly placed in fourth to reel in the riders ahead, and so he did with the deft touch of a rider with twice the experience. The German pulled off a series of last lap overtakes over three consecutive corners, first at T10 dispatching Championship leader Lenoxx Phommara, followed by Masili at T11 and then Frellsen at T12 before taking a defensive line at T13 to secure safe passage to the finish line, and claiming a triumphant and unforgettable win under the Saxon sun.
Another rider worthy of mention during Race 1, and yes, get used to this name, was French rookie wonder, Antoine Nativi (CTM 83 Junior Team) who claimed a brilliant P6.
NTC fans were also delighted by the return of Dutch heroes Delano Greven DG Motorsport by Brouwer Motors) and Tom Kuil (Beekam Racing) who impressed on their return to the category. Austrian Killian Holzer (HK Racing) had an accident in Q2 which ruled him out for the rest of the weekend, and rider Luca Hafeneger (Austrian Junior Cup Team) also retired following a highside at T11, rider OK.
Lenoxx Phommara snatches victory on last lap following stunning comeback from 16th
It was a dramatic opening to Race 2 with Italian Matteo Masili (Fairium Next Generation Riders Team) again taking the holeshot into Turn 1, only for a first corner high-side to scupper his chances of victory, and also those of the unlucky Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) who had nowhere to go and crashed out with him. Both riders OK. The incident also saw polesitter Lenoxx Phommara drop down to 16th after a detour into the gravel.
Rocco Sessler (MCA Racing) wasted no time in taking advantage of the chaos around him to snatch the lead and make a break from the chasing pack. An impressive Martin Vincze (VM Racing Team) was able to slot in behind him as the two opened an sizeable gap of 2.5 seconds by lap 7.
Behind them a chasing group of six riders formed and as they jockeyed for position, there were heroes everywhere, including rookies Kyano Schoo (KS Racing) and Antoine Nativi (CTM 83 Junior Team) who held their own against their more experienced rivals. Filip Novotny (DG Corse), Maxime Schmid (Team Schmid) also impressed, but it was the Dane Julius Frellsen (MCA Racing) who led the pack most of the way as they tried to catch the leading duo.
Excitement literally until the last corner, this is the #NorthernTalentCup ????— Northern Talent Cup (@northerntalentc) May 14, 2023
Check the highlights of the last race of the weekend at Sachsenring in 1 minute! ????️#NTC #Sachsenring #RoadToMotoGP???? pic.twitter.com/XWmbemUI2E
But the story doesn't end there, in fact, it was only just getting started. Championship leader and polesitter Lenoxx Phommara was lapping a second faster than the leaders as he made impressive time from 16th to make up the distance. By lap 14 the Swiss slotted into third after a hair-raising overtake on Frellsen to lead the chasing pack and drag them forward in an epic struggle to catch the leading pair of Sessler and Vincze.
By lap 15 Lenoxx Phommara had dispatched with Vincze to take second, with Frellsen slotting in behind him in third. On the last lap and penultimate corner the determined Lenoxx Phommara made short work of Sessler, who until the moment had led almost all the race, and then it was a drag race to the line with Phommara taking a stylish comeback victory ahead of a disappointed Sessler in P2, and Frellsen in P3. Vincze, and rookies Nativi and Schoo completed the top 6.
As we head to Oschersleben for Round 3 on 2-4 June it's the comeback king Phommara leading the standings ahead Rocco Sessler by just 4 points. Bring it on!