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Sep 7, 2018

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup: Can Oncu Takes Pole Position, American Sean Kelly Qualifies Ninth At Misano

Can Oncu (61) and his twin brother Deniz Oncu (53). Photo by GEPA Pictures, courtesy of Red Bull.

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Misano, San Marino

September 7, 2018

Final Qualifying Results (all on KTM RCR250s and Dunlop tires):

1. Can Oncu, Turkey, 1:45.332

2. Deniz Oncu, Turkey, 1:45.365

3. Ryusei Yamanaka, Japan, 1:45.762

4. Meikon Kawakami, Brazil, 1:45.910

5. Adrian Carrasco, Spain, 1:45.987

6. Steward Garcia, Colombia, 1:46.014

7. Dan Jones, UK, 1:46.080

8. Filip Salac, Czech Republic, 1:46.126

9. Sean Kelly, USA, 1:46.189

10. Carlos Tatay, Spain, 1:46.203



More, from a press release issued by Red Bull:

Öncüs only at Misano

The 15-year-old Turkish twins, Can and Deniz Öncü, are on a mission to win the single Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Misano. That would seal the Rookies Cup for Can and make second very likely for Deniz.

It was no surprise that the pair were quickest in qualifying and equally it was no shock that they were chased around by half the rest of the KTM RC 250 Rs, all looking for a tow towards a quick lap time. It was Japanese 16-year-old Ryusei Yamanaka who is closest and completes the front row ahead of Brazilian 16-year-old Meikon Kawakami.

We want to be alone

That chasing pack was the Öncüs’ only problem as Can explained. “They were trying to follow us all the time, not doing anything on their own, just looking for us. My brother and I had to find ourselves some free space then go for a good lap time. Finally we made it work and I am happy that we are first and second.”

“I hope we can all have a great race tomorrow but at the end I want to win the race and the Cup with my brother second. I hope we can do that and as always, thanks to Francesc Julia and all the staff for all the hard work,” concluded the Cup leader who has a 62 point advantage over his brother, himself 10 clear of Xavi Artigas in third.

I wanted pole

Artigas qualified 11th but less than a second off the Öncüs who themselves were only separated by 0.033 seconds. Deniz was not thrilled with the way the session ended. “On one side I am happy but on the other I am sad because I just missed my first pole. We were working together, one had the advantage, then the other but it was Can ahead at the end.”

“It was a bit annoying trying to get away from the others but in the end we managed it. It should be a good race. I am not completely happy with the bike but really it is more of a problem that the track is bumpy than that there is anything wrong with the set-up or the bike,” concluded Deniz.

The others want to be closer

Yamanaka is himself chasing the perfect setting. “The bike is good and I am happy with things, happy to be on the front row but we changed the suspension a little mid session and went the wrong way. So I think we will go back for the race, I am looking to improve on the brakes.”

Kawakami is happy with both the bike and himself. “Yes I think that the work I have been doing over the summer has paid off, riding the dirt bike and the motard. I feel really good on track now and have a good feeling with my bike so I am more confident. I hope to make a great start like I did in Race 2 in Austria and run in the front group all the way.”