More, from a press release issued by Red Bull:
Piqueras wins over Carpe in Rookies Cup Race 1
It was Álvaro Carpe’s first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race but the 15-year-old Spaniard fought his more experienced fellow countryman Angel Piqueras for the win all the way to the last lap.16-year-old Piqueras just found a touch extra to win the first race of season 17 by 0.673 second over Carpe with Rico Salmela, the 15-year-old Finn taking an excellent 3rd less than 2 seconds further back at the Portimão finish line.
It was much more than a two KTM race with a host of early leaders including South African 16-year-old Ruché Moodley and Malaysian 15-year-old Hakim Danish enjoying his first Rookies Cup race.
Angel Piqueras had the answer
“I am happy that finally, I could win but it was not an easy race, I had to fight all the way. I planned to make a good start and try to break away but I didn’t get the start I needed and could not get a gap.”
“We were battling all the way and I thought about the last lap. I realised that I could not leave it to the last corners, I had to get ahead and get clear for the last lap. I was able to take another step with the pace and get away just enough on the last lap.”
Álvaro Carpe living the dream
“If you asked me before the race if I would be on the podium I would say no,” he laughed, “Sure No. Now I am on the podium and this is awesome when I was a kid I dreamed of exactly this and I can’t believe that it has happened.”
“Sure I will try and win tomorrow but if I end anywhere on the podium that will be OK… but yes I will try and win.”
Rico Salmela changed style
“At the start of the race I was struggling a bit, I was a bit nervous and I was in the group. In the middle of the group, I settled a bit and got to the front of the group but when I tried to get to the leading two my bike was having a few moments.”
“So I had to change my riding style and that worked, the handling was better and I started to get away from the group and catch the riders on the front. I still need to start the catching a few more laps earlier. I might think about changing the bike for Race two, I had some moments on the rear but I still felt really good on the bike and enjoyed the race.”
Casey O’Gorman not thrilled
“I’m a bit disappointed with the result,” explained the 15-year-old Irishman “Because I felt that I had the pace to go with the front guys but the group I was with were always overtaking and the leaders got away.”
“Then at the end Rico got past, I pushed so hard to catch him but finally I couldn’t. The bike was good but tomorrow I will stay with the front group and not get caught in the group, there is always something that can happen.”
Hakim Danish fighting at the front
“Yes, I am very happy with my first race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. I was able to lead for a little and I finished P5. I felt good, I tried to fight in the front group but I made a few mistakes and I ran really wide. But I managed to catch the group again and could fight again.”
“We did change the bike after Qualifying, it was better and good for the race, I think it can still be better and we will think if it is worthing trying another change for Race 2.”
Ruche Moodley learning from a single error
“The first lap I led, then coming into the second lap 4 riders overtook me, I didn’t want more riders to overtake me so into turn 3 I passed Rico, so then one rider that was making a pass to the rider in front of him backed out of the pass and I got really close to his wheel, I had to brake hard and the back end came around. I had to go straight.”
“I learned my lesson today, I am not going to make the silly mistake again, I think I can race at the front.”
This weekend’s Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Note the early times for Race 2 on Sunday morning this season and the switch to summertime this Sunday so: Race 2 is on Sunday at 09:50 CEST, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.