Qualifying was just like a full on race with a huge pack of KTM RC 250 Rs thundering around Motorland Aragón to sort out the grid for the final Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races of the year.
Cup champion Carlos Tatay has already jumped into the Moto3 Grand Prix class leaving the field wide open for his competitors and it was fellow Spaniards Marcos Uriarte, David Salvador and Alex Escrig who seized the front row.
“That was great,” grinned 14-year-old Uriarte who was second fastest at the Red Bull Ring. “I rode on my own in Free Practice 2 and was a second slower so I realised that for Qualifying I would need to get a group. I did that but leading the group I was not getting the advantage. I dropped back and then put in a few laps passing the other riders. That worked, I got the slipstream down the main straight and that was essential into the head wind. The bike set-up is great and I am looking forward to the race.”
Salvador was not too upset to be second. “That’s my best Qualifying,” smiled the 15-year-old. “The bike is really good, I think I have the perfect setting for this track. It was just a huge group out there and everyone was going a bit crazy so I din’t quite get the lap I wanted but it was good practice for the race,” he added clearly looking for his first win of the season after finishing second in Misano last weekend.”
For Escrig it is not his first time on the front row. “That was good, the bike setting is very good but I didn’t get the perfect lap because there were so many riders and everyone was messing things up a bit. My lap timer was not working so I didn’t know quite how things were. It’s OK though and I am ready for the race,” said the Red Bull Ring pole sitter.
The first non-Spanish rider in Japanese 18-year-old Haruki Noguchi who heads the second row. “I missed two good laps for exceeding track limits, very disappointing but that’s my mistake, I did the same thing in Austria. I should have been on pole, the bike is good and I am aiming to win the race,” concluded the Austrian Race 2 winner.
It was another impressive Qualifying from Mario Aji and the 15-year-old Indonesian lines up fifth. “We changed the bike a lot after free practice and it was a lot better. I have a good feeling and I think I can do a better job in the race than I did last weekend,” he said referring to the fact that he slipped from the same starting position in the middle of row 2 to 10th at the flag in only his 5th Rookies Cup race.
So where is Pedro Acosta, the 15-year-old Spaniard who is trying to defend second place in the points table from Noguchi? He is back on row three again. “Yes hmm, ninth is not great, there were riders everywhere and I´m not happy but I did good work in the Free Practice sessions, the bike setting is good and for the race…. well you just have to believe in yourself.”
This weekend’s Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Race 1 is at 16:30 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 16:00, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.
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