Billy van Eerde wins Aragon thriller

Advance Australia Fair has not been heard on the Rookies Cup rostrum for a long time but Billy van Eerde continued his remarkable season turn-around with a superb last corner move that bettered Haruki Noguchi, Alex Escrig and Pedro Acosta in Motorland Aragón.

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Billy Van Eerde Noguchi Escrig
Billy van Eerde beat Haruki Noguchi and Alex Escrig to the line

The 17-year-old only qualified 11th and admitted that he had no thoughts of winning going into the race. “I was looking to be racing in the front group,” he explained frankly. “Then mid race I was feeling good on the bike and realised that I could push a bit harder. I kept going and the bike was working a lot better than it did in practice.”

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Billy Van Eerde
Billy van Eerde

“On the last lap I concentrated on putting myself in the right place down the back straight to pick up the slipstream and it worked. The guys did a great job with the bike and we are talking about some small changes for race 2 because it is still moving around a bit in the long corners so it could be even better,” explained van Eerde.

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Billy Van Eerde
Billy van Eerde

Only 8-tenths separated the top seven at the chequered flag. 

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Billy Van Eerde Jack Miller
Billy van Eerde with Jack Miller

That hefty haul of 25-points has promotes Billy up to eighth place in the championship standings. Importantly, it has also moved him to within striking distance of sixth place should he have another really strong performance on Sunday. Considering Billy scored no points in the opening four races in what is only an 11 race series, the youngster is certainly finishing the season with a flourish. 

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Billy Van Eerde Noguchi Escrig
Billy van Eerde beat Haruki Noguchi and Alex Escrig to the line

18-year-old Japanese rider Noguchi ran him very close but just lost out with a last corner slide. “Yes, it was a great race but the back had been moving around a bit and it slid again at the last corner. Still I enjoyed the race, it was a lot of fun. I’m not upset with myself, I planned to be in that position on the last lap and it all worked but for that slide. We will try again tomorrow,” stated Noguchi.

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Lorenzo Fellon Pedro Acosta Haruki Noguchi David Salvador
5 Lorenzo Fellon, 37 Pedro Acosta, 56 Haruki Noguchi & 38 David Salvador

Escrig was thrilled to be on the podium but thought it might be even better. “Down the back straight I had Pedro’s slipstream and as I went past into the lead I thought I was going to win it,” smiled the 15-year-old. “Then Haruki and Noguchi came past like rockets! Still it was a good race. It went well from the start, I took things easy early on then after 5 laps started to attack. The bike was great and we will not make any changes for tomorrow.”

Acosta was Mr. Cool and took an apparently casual approach from 9th on the grid, even more relaxed than his Misano progression which resulted in the brilliant win. “Yes I was cautious early, I didn’t want to risk a crash in the opening laps,” explained the 15-year-old. “Then I worked my way forward until I was third and stayed around there until the end of the race. Then on the last lap I thought, ‘This is your moment’ and I took the lead. I thought I could do it from there but the slipstream and the last corner did not work out. Still I think I did a good race, the bike was good, nothing to change so we will try again tomorrow,” stated Acosta.

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Marcos Uriarte Haruki Noguchi Pedro Acosta Barry Baltus
89 Marcos Uriarte, 56 Haruki Noguchi, 37 Pedro Acosta & 7 Barry Baltus

An impressive fifth was Mario Aji and the 15-year-old Indonesian expects more from Sunday. “I concentrated on staying in the top group, that is what I did not manage in Misano. I am getting more experience and I enjoyed the race. We will change the gearing for tomorrow because it was too short and I could not take advantage of the slipstream. That’s going to make quite a difference.”

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Marcos Uriarte Haruki Noguchi Pedro Acosta Lorenzo Fellon
89 Marcos Uriarte, 56 Haruki Noguchi, 37 Pedro Acosta & 5 Lorenzo Fellon

Cup winner Carlos Tatay has already taken up his Moto3 ride but there were others missing from the result after an unusual number of fallers. David Salvador and Barry Baltus touched and both fell in the heat of the lead battle. Early leader Marcos Uriarte slid off on his own.

Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Salvador Baltus Fellon
Salvador, Baltus, Fellon

The final 2019 outing for the KTM RC 250 Rs on Sunday gives them one more chance to improve their final championship standing. 


Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Race One Results
Pos RIder Country Time/Gap
1 BILLY VAN EERDE Australia 30m57.794
2 HARUKI NOGUCHI Japan +0.137
3 ALEX ESCRIG Spain +0.262
4 PEDRO ACOSTA Spain +0.284
5 MARIO AJI Indonesia +0.565
6 LORENZO FELLON France +0.646
7 MAX COOK United Kingdom +0.810
8 GABIN PLANQUES France +12.294
9 DAIJIRO SAKO Japan +20.902
10 PHILLIP TONN Germany +39.079
11 NOAH DETTWILER Switzerland +50.201
12 TYLER SCOTT United States +50.253
13 ZONTA VAN DEN GOORBERGH Netherlands +1m26.764
14 AIDAN LIEBENBERG South Africa +1m39.687
NC MARCOS URIARTE Spain +6 laps
NC DAVID SALVADOR Spain +7 laps
NC BARRY BALTUS Belgium +7 laps
NC JASON DUPASQUIER Switzerland +8 laps
NC CLEMENT ROUGE France +8 laps
NC ARTEM MARAEV Russia +11 laps
NC MATTEO BERTELLE Italy +0 lap
Red Bull Rookies Cup Aragon Billy Van Eerde
Billy van Eerde
Red Bull Rookies Cup Points
Pos Rider Nat Total
1 CARLOS TATAY Spain 194
2 PEDRO ACOSTA Spain 153
3 HARUKI NOGUCHI Japan 140
4 YUKI KUNII Japan 109
5 LORENZO FELLON France 103
6 JASON DUPASQUIER Switzerland 96
7 DAVID SALVADOR Spain 95
8 BILLY VAN EERDE Australia 90
9 MAX COOK United Kingdom 79
10 MARCOS URIARTE Spain 65
11 ALEX ESCRIG Spain 54
12 BARRY BALTUS Belgium 52
13 ZONTA VAN DEN GOORBERGH Netherlands 51
14 MATTEO BERTELLE Italy 45
15 GABIN PLANQUES France 42
16 MARIO AJI Indonesia 32
17 ARTEM MARAEV Russia 25
18 CLEMENT ROUGE France 25
19 DAIJIRO SAKO Japan 21
20 ADRIAN HUERTAS Spain 20
21 NICOLAS HERNANDEZ Colombia 15
22 PHILLIP TONN Germany 14
23 TYLER SCOTT United States 9
24 NOAH DETTWILER Switzerland 6
25 AIDAN LIEBENBERG South Africa 4
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