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Aug 24, 2013

American Joe Roberts Breaks Lap Record And Finishes Fourth In Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race At Brno

Czech Karel Hanika (98) leads Italian Manuel Pagliani (96), Spaniard Jorge Martin (88) and American Joe Roberts (27) during the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race on Saturday at Brno.
Glendale, California teenager Joe Roberts finished fourth in Saturday's Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Brno Circuit, breaking his own class lap record in the process.

Roberts returned to Europe last weekend, after winning his fourth and fifth-straight AMA Pro SuperSport races at Miller Motorsports Park earlier this month. Roberts also won both AMA Pro SuperSport races at Barber Motorsports Park in June and the single AMA Pro SuperSport race held in conjunction with the MotoGP event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in July.

Roberts turned 16 and became eligible for a license four days before the start of his AMA Pro debut weekend at Barber.

American Anthony Alonso, a 15-year-old who recently moved with his family from Fremont, California to Spain, finished 16th.

There is only one Rookies Cup race on the schedule during the MotoGP weekend at Brno. Six of the eight rounds feature double headers, with single races at Brno and Misano.

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Automotodrom Brno
Brno, Czech Republic
August 24, 2013
Race Results (all on KTM motorcycles and Dunlop tires):

1. Karel Hanika, Czech Republic, 14 laps, 31:09.544
2. Manuel Pagliani, Italy, -0.169-second
3. Jorge Martin, Spain, -0.225
4. Joe Roberts, USA, -2.838 seconds
5. Soushi Mihara, Japan, -7.440
6. Scott Deroue, Netherlands, -12.133
7. Marcos Ramirez, Spain, -12.179
8. Diego Perez, Spain, -12.213
9. Bradley Ray, UK, -12.234
10. Jordan Weaving, Republic of South Africa, -12.302
16. Anthony Alonso, USA, -28.531

Fastest Lap (New Record), Roberts, 2:12.413.

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull:

Hanika steals Brno victory from Pagliani in Brno

Karel Hanika had the stadium section crowd erupting with a cacophony of horns and screams as he passed Manuel Pagliani half way round the final lap to win his home Grand Prix in Brno. The 17-year-old Czech fought off repeated attacks by the 17-year-old Italian for the rest of the tour while 15-year-old Spaniard Jorge Martín shadowed, ready to take advantage of any error.

Hanika and Pagliani touched as they climbed the rise into the last section but both stayed upright and Martín was third ahead Joe Roberts who had shared the battle for the lead for most of the race but fell back in the closing stages. The 16-year-old Californian missed out on the podium but went home with the lap record having bettered his own standard from 2011.

A second pack

The six-rider fight for fifth was every bit as intense as that for the win and it was only in the last few laps that 14-year-old Japanese Soushi Mihara broke away leaving Scott Deroue to take sixth just ahead of Marcos Ramirez, Diego Perez, Bradley Ray and Jordan Weaving.

Unluckiest man of the day was 16-year-old Turk Toprak Razgatlioglu who stalled on the middle of the front row of the grid. He had to start from the pit lane and then exceeded the pit lane speed and so had to serve a ride through penalty.

No easy win for Hanika

The day was Hanika's but it wasn't easy, he could not get close to his pole position pace. “That's right and I'm not sure why, I didn't get a great start and had to work hard to get to the lead. I didn't feel as confident on the bike as I did in qualifying, something didn't feel quite right but you have to race with what you have.”

“There was no way that I could break away, Jorge and Manuel were riding very well and Manuel was particularly good both on the brakes and getting out of the corners so it was a very very tough race. When it came to the last lap I didn't have a plan, that wasn't possible, I just went as hard as I could and it worked. It is an incredible feeling to do it at home, the best race of my life.”

Smooth Pagliani

Pagliani had ridden superbly, smooth and stylish all the way. “It was a great race, I was at the front all the way and really enjoyed it. Obviously I tried everything to win but on the last lap coming up the hill we touched and that put me in the wrong place for the last corners, that's racing.”

Martín had not been happy with the bike at the end of qualifying but some good work from the Rookies technical staff and WP engineer resulted in just the right adjustment to the front forks. “The bike was really great, it was a tough, tough fight. I was looking for a way past on the last lap but Manuel and Karel were fighting hard and there was no way through. There's next weekend, I love Silverstone so I will go for it there.”

All to play for

Hanika has extended his Cup points lead to 51 points over Martín. Pagliani has moved to third displacing Stefano Manzi who failed to score. The 14-year-old Italian crashed into 15-year-old fellow countryman Enea Bastianini as they battled in the lead group early on. Both tumbled heavily but escaped serious injury. Five races remain with 125 points on offer for the victories, the first two of those are at Silverstone next weekend.
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