Aug 21, 2012
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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies in action. Photo by GEPA Pictures, courtesy of Red Bull
Alt, Deroue and Oettl chased by the pack at Brno
Suddenly the end of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season is in sight. Races 11 and 12 at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic this coming Saturday and Sunday start the run to home, leaving just 1 race in Misano and 2 in Aragon to decide the title places.
It has been a spectacular battle so far and it is a trio of 16 year olds who now head the table. Germans Florian Alt and Philipp Oettl are 1st and 3rd split by Dutchman Scott Deroue. With 125 points still on offer there are many others still with a mathematical chance of winning the Cup but those 3 have been fast and consistent all year.
Alt has racked up 4 victories, Deroue 3 and Oettl 1 so the points table quite fairly reflects the season to date as far as they are concerned, each has had a little misfortune and bounced back from it. Alt has 157 points, Deroue 148 and Oettl 134.
One difference between them is that Oettl has been racing a 4-stroke Moto3 machine in the Spanish Championship between Rookies rounds and this has not helped his performance in the Cup, swapping between the 2 bikes is difficult. Both Alt and Deroue race 2-stroke 125s when away from the Cup and find that less troubling.
The Brno circuit has frequently provided a superb stage for the Rookies, it is a wide track that really tests the teenagers' appreciation for the best racing line. The dramatic changes of elevation add to the conundrum and make the Czech round a wonderful test.
It would be of no real surprise if the 3 Cup leaders did not win in Brno, they might well not even get on the podium. It is easy enough to find other candidates including local hero Karel Hanika. The 16 year old is in his 1st Rookies Cup season but he has been fast from the start. He has led frequently and his home race could be the perfect opportunity to cross the line 1st. With 87 points he lies 6th in the table behind Spanish 14 year old Marcos Ramirez (97) and Portuguese 15 year old Ivo Lopes (90), any of them could score their 1st Cup win in Brno.
Joe Roberts, the 15 year old American already has a Cup win to his name, that was Race 1 at Brno last year when he was stunning in the rain. In Race 2 he set a new lap record in the dry so comes to the Czech Republic ready for a repeat. He lies 11th in this year's table with 61 points just behind last year's Cup winner Lorenzo Baldassarri. The Italian 15 year old has 64 points, he won Race 2 in Jerez but otherwise has had an average season by his standards.
Man on form is the Race 2 winner from the Sachsenring, Lukas Trautmann, the 16 year old Austrian. He is 8th in the standings with 70 points, splitting the 2 British 15 year olds Bradley Ray (78) and Kyle Ryde (66). The Britons have yet to win a Cup race, British 125 Champion Ryde is in his 2nd season while Ray is seeing the circuits for the 1st time but is a very fast learner and either could win in Brno.
Both Rookies Cup races at Brno can be seen live on TV stations around the world and on with Race 1 on Saturday August 25th starting at 16.30 CET. Sunday's Race 2 starts at 15.30 and in each case the show begins 10 minutes before race time.