Jake Gagne made it a double victory weekend with another masterly display in the second Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. The 16 year old Californian was again chased across the line by 14 year old South African Brad Binder with 15 year old Japanese Daijiro Hiura 3rd, making up for his 15th place finish on Saturday.
Gagne stormed into the Cup points lead as nearest rivals Daniel Ruiz and Danny Kent both crashed. Kent remounted to finish 12th and now lies 2nd in the table, 14 points behind Gagne with Ruiz 3rd, another 10 points adrift but 4 clear of Hiura who is 4th.
“I was pretty confident I could do it again,” said Gagne. “It was a good race yesterday and there was no reason why it should be different. At one point Brad and I got away from the others a bit but I wasn’t too surprised when they closed back up again. Then it was all one group and I pretty much played it like yesterday and managed to get away just before the end. I knew that Brad was with me again but he’s a good guy and I didn’t expect him to do anything crazy and take us both out. I knew he was a little bit frustrated that he couldn’t get past me at the last corners yesterday but I was strong there and I braked even a bit deeper and held on.”
Binder made a slightly easier race for himself than Saturday with a sensational start from his 9th place qualifying place on the 3rd row of the grid. “Yah, the start was fantastic, I think I was about fourth going into the first corner. Then I got up with Jake and he and I went away a bit but we couldn’t stay clear of the group. Then later on I had a go at leading but also couldn’t get away. On the last lap I really wanted to have a go at Jake but he was just too good today… next time,” he concluded with a grin.
Hiura’s third made the Japanese smile for what seemed the first time in the weekend. “Yes I wasn’t happy with one point yesterday. But I knew that I had found quite a good rhythm and if I didn’t have trouble I could make a good result. I didn’t make a great start but we could close the gap on Jake and Brad so it was a great race. On the last lap I was going to try and win but I made a slight mistake and lost them so I will have to wait until Brno.”
Kent was philosophical about his meagre points tally after a great ride. “My start wasn’t bad but I got squeezed from both sides going into the first corner, I was almost stopped and dead last going down the hill. I think made up 8 seconds to catch the leaders but I must have taken too much out of the tyres because when I fell I wasn’t doing anything different. At least I did get a few points out of it,” concluded the 16 year old Briton who had charged brilliantly through the field and was up to 4th when he fell on the last lap. He remounted to take 4 points for 12th
Similarly reflective was 18 year old Spaniard Ruiz who was unhurt when he crashed out of the lead group on lap one taking Kevin Calia with him. “Honestly I don’t know what I did wrong, I lost the front and unfortunately took Kevin out as well. I have lost a lot of points but I just have to come back at the next race.”
The pack that chased down Gagne and Binder was headed by 16 year old Italian Alejandro Pardo who put together a string of quick laps and may well have got on the podium after a number of great passing moves but over the last few laps things got a bit ragged. “I didn’t make a good start but the bike was perfect, this is my favourite track and that corner at the bottom of the tight section where I passed Jake (Gagne) is a lot of fun. By the end though my tyres were destroyed and that’s why I was having trouble.”
At the last corner Pardo barged inside Tomas Vavrous to take fourth leaving the Czech 16 year old with rubber down his left thigh from Pardo’s front tyre. “I didn’t mean to push him out,” explained the Italian. It made a pair of excellent rides this weekend for Vavrous who was 8th on Saturday and 5th on Sunday. “I enjoyed that a lot even though this has never been a favourite track for my. The bike was great and it was just the final corner that I had trouble with in both races, yesterday I missed a gear and this time Pardo came inside. Anyway I still enjoyed it.”
The next Rookies Cup races are on August 14th and 15th as part of the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at Brno with a single race to conclude the season at Misano on September 4th.
Race 2 Classification
1. Jacob Gagne (USA) 28 minutes 51.091 seconds (145.050 kph)
2. Brad Binder (RSA) +0.119
3. Daijiro Hiura (JPN) +0.667
4. Alejandro Pardo (ITA) +2.670
5. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +2.687
6. Alexander Kristiansson (SWE) +2.777
7. Taylor Mackenzie (GBR) +3.810
8. Joshua Hook (AUS) +9.738
9. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +22.148
10. Florian Alt (GER) +22.627