More, from a press release issued by Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup:
Piqueras quicker than Quiles & Voight to Portimão Pole
Angel Piqueras took pole by almost a second over fellow Spaniard Màximo Quiles with Australian 15-year-old Harrison Voight completing the front row for the opening round of the 2022 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
15-year-old Piqueras put in a brilliant Portimão lap to knock Voight off the top of the leaderboard and 14-year-old Quiles then eased the Aussie further back
“My feeling on the bike is really good now,” explained Piqueras. “I was not so confident in Free Practice but then we changed the rear suspension and it was really good for the Qualifying, the guys did a great job.”
“I’d like a dry race, that would probably be a bit better but I’m also fast in the wet,” he added as an understatement after watching the final laps from the pitwall when the rain and wind got stronger.
Quiles in the open
Second was not easy for Quiles “I was getting quite frustrated in Qualifying. There were so many guys falling and so many yellow flags that you just couldn’t get a clear lap. But then finally I could find a good run and it was great. The bike feels very good, I’m happy with the set-up and I don’t mind if it is wet or dry for the race.”
A long time since
Clearly pleased with himself was Voight. “I’m happy with that. I felt confident in the wet at the test before my crash and thought that I could put it in the top 5 on the wet track but there was so much running water earlier today that it just didn’t feel good.”
“It was better in Qualifying and I had the confidence to go for it. As for a wet race, I don’t know about doing 16 laps, the last wet race I did was when I was 9!”
Görbe bounces back
Heading the second row is Hungarian 16-year-old Soma Görbe. “So many yellow flags I couldn’t get a lap in. I slid off, got back on and then had one clean lap. So I’m very happy with 4th. For the race, well I guess I like the wet, but the dry will also be OK.”
A bigger splash for O’Gorman
It had been Ireland’s Casey O’Gorman who dominated the two very wet Free Practice sessions and the 14-year-old set off to do the same in Qualifying. His name came up on top of the screen but then on lap 3 he didn’t come round. “It’s a shame, I was feeling good, not really pushing that hard, I just hit this big puddle and had a huge high-side.”
“I’m OK, the bike is great, good set-up wet and dry and I don’t mind what it is for the race,” he said casually, still 5th fastest with that time from lap 2.
The treacherous conditions produced a number of incidents and tested not only the Rookies. Support was there, as soon as they arrived back in pit lane the technical staff descended on the KTM RC 250 R and worked their magical repairs with impressive speed. The HJC and Alpinestars technicians checked helmet and leathers respectively. All to get the rider quickly and safely back out on track and learning their craft.
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 17:30 CEST on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 17:00, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.