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Aug 31, 2013

Hanika Wins Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race One At Silverstone

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Karel Hanika (98) leads a group of riders during Race One at Silverstone. Photo by GEPA Pictures, courtesy of Red Bull.
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Silverstone Circuit, England
August 31, 2013
Race One Results (all using KTM RBR250s and Dunlop tires):

1. Karel HANIKA, Czech Republic, 14 laps, 32:35.234
2. Diego PEREZ, Spain, -0.310 second
3. Marcos RAMIREZ, Spain, -0.439
4. Enea BASTIANINI, Italy, -1.371 seconds
5. Joan MIR, Spain, -1.448
6. Soushi MIHARA, Japan, -4.550
7. Manuel PAGLIANI, Italy, -5.032
8. Jordan WEAVING, South Africa, -9.214
9. Tarran MACKENZIE, UK, -21.805
10. Lukas TRAUTMANN, Austria, -25.568
11. Aris MICHAIL, Germany, -25.635
12. Yui WATANABE, Japan, -25.964
13. Felix NÄSSI, Finland, -47.529
14. Mario TOCCA, Italy, -50.547
15. Anthony ALONSO, USA, -56.653

20. Joe ROBERTS, USA, -10 laps, DNF, crash

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull:

Karel Hanika had to fight off nine riders to win Race 1 at Silverstone, his sixth victory this season in the Red Bull MotoGp Rookies Cup. The British Grand Prix weekend started perfectly for the 17-year-old Czech who set off from pole position but none of his wins have been easy and this was no exception.

Though it was Spanish 15-year-olds Diego Perez and Marcos Ramirez who finally joined him on the podium they had not looked his greatest threat. It was another pair of Spanish 15-year-olds, Joan Mir and Hanika's nearest Cup challenger; Jorge Martín, who both led at various stages and gave Hanika the hardest time.

Pagliani, Roberts, Deroue, all leaders

They weren't the only ones,17-year-old Italian Manuel Pagliani featured strongly at the head of the field, as he had done a week ago In Brno, and this time Dutch 17-year-old Scott Deroue made a return to the front even though he had only qualified 13th. Another charger was 16-year-old American Joe Roberts who cut through fast in the early laps, from 11th on the grid to lead, taking the lap record with him.

Unfortunately Roberts slid off and out of the race and it was another crash that finally dictated the result as the chasing pack elbowed each other for a chance to wrest the win from Hanika with just a couple of corners to go. Perez went under Deroue who moved over into Martín and while Deroue and Martín fell without serious injury, Perez picked up second.

No easy victory for Hanika

“It was a very tough race again,” said Hanika. “The guys were riding really well and I just I couldn't get away in the front so I decided just to stay in the lead group and wait for the last lap. Then I just went as fast as I could and defended. I didn't know how many were behind but I knew it was quite a group, just great that it worked out,” he said, completely unaware of all the drama in his wake.

“The bike was good, we had made some changes after qualifying because there I was having a bit of trouble with the rear sliding. That was cured for the race but then I was a bit in trouble for the front. I am not sure why but I am sure that Santi (suspension engineer) will have an answer for Race 2,” added the lanky blond with his usual smile.

Perez and Ramirez change their fortunes

Perez was thrilled to take second, his first podium in a difficult season 2 for the man from Palma de Mallorca. “The bike was great, I didn't have a good start, I had a lot of work to do and we had a hard fight in the second group but managed to catch the leaders at the end. It was so close on the last lap then Scott and Jorge went down.”

Ramirez, who leads the Spanish Moto3 championship, is also in his second Rookies Cup season and it has not gone the way he wanted with just a single third place up to this point. “I really enjoyed that, it was a very hard close race. So many riders fighting at every corner, Then towards the end the rear was sliding quite a lot and it was a real struggle to keep the pace up but I hope I can do at least the same again tomorrow.”

Ray of hope

British hero Bradley Ray, the 16-year-old who had qualified second fastest, was completely out of luck though he battled for the lead early on. “I caught a neutral as I changed down and just ran wide. Then I was trying to catch up and had a big highside into Manzi,” he explained. Neither he nor the 14 year old Italian were injured and all 23 Rookies, including Toprak Razgatlioglu, who highsided early on, will be ready for Sunday's Race 2.


Rookies Cup races can be seen live on and on TV stations around the world.

Race 2 is at 16.00 BST (17.00 CET) on Sunday, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.
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