Can Öncü took his fourth Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup victory in five races, coming out ahead of an incredible eight man battle for the win. The 14-year-old Turk flashed across the Brno finish line just in front of Matthias Meggle and Kazuki Masaki with Aleix Viu a frustratingly close fourth.
It is so hard to win from the front of a close battle for the lead but Öncü managed exactly that with the perfect last lap on the KTM RC 250 R. Meggle, the 17-year-old German was on the podium for the first time just squeezing out 16-year-old Japanese Masaki who picked up his fourth 3rd place of the year.
“Yes I’m happy with that, it was perfect,” enthused Can Öncü. “We changed the bike a little after qualifying and it was perfect from first lap to last. I quickly got confidence in it after the start and felt very good, such a nice bike today. I had a few slides but that was just me getting out of control, I wanted to win so much.”
Equally happy was Meggle. “The bike was great, I stayed calm early on and just waited for the last lap to make a big push and then I went very hard. It almost worked perfectly, just at the last chicane I made the smallest mistake, had a slide at the last corner, so couldn’t win. Still it’s a big step forward and a reward for all the hard work, thanks to everyone who supports me.”
Less thrilled was Masaki, “No, I wanted to win. I waited until the last three laps to push and I got to the front but couldn’t stay there. Then I tried again on the last lap but was fifth and I got past Viu but not the others. The track was very hot and a bit slippery, if the temperature is the same tomorrow we may change the settings a bit.”
Ai Ogura, the 16-year-old Japanese just back from injury was in great form, jumped into the lead from the middle of the front row and fought at the front all the way. He fell at the end of lap 12 when he touched with Meggle at the final chicane. He slid off unhurt but failed to score for the fifth race in a row.
Ryusei Yamanaka, the 15-year-old Japanese was also in the hunt all the way but frustrated to only cross the line fifth. Sixth man home was Kevin Orgis, a great ride from the 17-year-old German after a troubled qualifying left him starting from the back of the grid. “Yes I’m happy with that. I used up the tyres a lot when I caught the leaders and had to ease off a bit. I pushed again as much as I could at the end.”
Aleix Viu, the 16-year-old Spaniard who lies second on the title chase was destroyed after taking fourth. “I just don’t have the engine power, I have to brake so late to compete, if I do get in front it is so easy for the others to repass.” He now stands 26 points adrift of Öncü and is just 5 ahead of Masaki with six races remaining.
This weekend’s Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Race 2 is on Sunday at 15.30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.
- Rain master Scholtz takes COTA Race 1
- All American: home heroes on home turf
- Blast off for KTM in Austin
- Crutchlow: “We have better pace than guys around us”
- 10 reasons to watch the AmericasGP
- Front row qualifying for "surprised" McPhee
- Rossi: the man with the race pace?
- Iannone takes a front row and starring role in the drama
- Sparks fly as Viñales leads the rebellion at the AmericasGP!
- Masterful Marquez edges out Lowes in QP