Billy Van Eerde takes personal best 9th in Austria


Red Bull Rookies Austria R Start Deniz Oncu
Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Billy Van Eerde took his best result of the season at the Austrian Red Bull Rookies round, claiming ninth in the opening bout at the Red Bull Ring.  His hope for going one better on Sunday however turned to disappointment after he was taken out from behind by a fellow competitor. Van Eerde is currently 20th in the Red Bull Rookies standings with 12-points to his name. However, the youngster recently had a much better time in Asia when he took the lead in the Asia Talent Cup with victory at Sepang.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Race Start
Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Ryusei Yamanaka took the Race 1 win from Xavier Artigas, and Can Oncu, while Race 2 saw Xavier Artigas emerge the victor from Can Oncu and Filip Salac.

Qualifying

A storm cut FP2 short but the track was drying through the delayed Qualifying Session and 16-year-old Japanese Ryusei Yamanaka judged things perfectly to take pole.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Xavier Artigas
Xavier Artigas – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Second quickest was Xavier Artigas, the 15-year-old Spaniard having been fastest in FP2. Mugello pole man Meikon Kawakami, the 16-year-old Brazilian, completed the front row, a position he aims to improve, as he was third fastest in Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring last year and took the same position in Race 1 at the Sachsenring.

Aussie Billy Van Eerde placed 12th in qualifying, 1.584 seconds off pole position.

Qualifying Results

  1. Ryusei YAMANAKA JPN 1’48.543
  2. Xavier ARTIGAS SPA +0.096
  3. Meikon KAWAKAMI BRA +0.203
  4. Adrian CARRASCO SPA +0.603
  5. Yuki KUNII JPN +0.731
  6. Steward GARCIA COL +0.749
  7. Gerry SALIM INA +0.845
  8. Can ÖNCÜ TUR +1.319
  9. Carlos TATAY SPA +1.334
  10. Simon JESPERSEN DEN +1.354
  11. Filip SALAC CZE +1.476
  12. Billy VAN EERDE AUS +1.584

Race 1

From his first pole position, Ryusei Yamanaka took a superb first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup win in Austria.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Ryusie Yamanaka Pack
Ryusie Yamanaka in the leading pack – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

The 16-year-old Japanese fought a huge lead pack all through the 17 laps of the Red Bull Ring, flashing across the line just ahead of Xavier Artigas, the 15-year-old Spaniard and Cup points leader Can Öncü.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Can Oncu Pack
Can Oncu – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

The 15-year-old Turkish twins had not qualified well in the drying conditions and while Deniz charged through from 14th to the front very quickly, brother Can went backwards from eighth and had a big struggle to get that rostrum finish.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Ryusie Yamanaka Win
Ryusie Yamanaka – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

The entire race was an absolutely thrilling fight with Yamanaka making a perfect final thrust on the last lap, out-braking everyone into the second tight right hander.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Billy VanEerde
Billy Van Eerde – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Deniz was less thrilled with fourth, even though he had a great race and ran at the front, the smile was missing. Filip Salač also had a great ride after charging through from 11th to finish fifth.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Filip Salac
Filip Salac – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Billy Van Eerde had his best result of the season with a ninth place finish.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Podium Artigas Ryusie Yamanaka Can Oncu
Red Bull Rookies Race 1 Podium – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Race 1 Results

  1. Ryusei YAMANAKA JPN 28’46.035
  2. Xavier ARTIGAS SPA 0.129
  3. Can ÖNCÜ TUR 0.314
  4. Deniz ÖNCÜ TUR 0.421
  5. Filip SALAC CZE 0.444
  6. Carlos TATAY SPA 0.584
  7. Steward GARCIA COL 0.702
  8. Peetu PAAVILAINEN FIN 1.045
  9. Billy VAN EERDE AUS 2.340
  10. Sean KELLY USA 2.102

Race 2

Xavier Artigas put together the perfect final 4.318km on his KTM RC250 R to claim his first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup victory.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Xavier Artigas
Xavier Artigas – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Again it had been a huge group swapping places at each corner and while the 15-year-old Spaniard featured at the front as he had on Saturday it was only the perfect last tour that clinched it ahead of Cup leader Can Öncü and Filip Salač.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Filip Salac R
Filip Salac – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Just 1.3 seconds covered the top nine at the finish and any one of them might have claimed the top step. However Artigas has been learning all year and learnt from his second place yesterday. Could Öncü, the 15-year-old Turk, kept his 100 podium run going with a great second, again from eighth on the grid?

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Filip Salac Pack
Filip Salac – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Steward Garcia was one of the many that led, the 18-year-old Colombian had a great race, losing the lead to Artigas on the final lap but looking likely to grab a podium until he was passed by Can Öncü, who was then moved over by Salač through the final turn.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Xavier Artigas Winner
Xavier Artigas – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

It was Deniz Öncü who flashed across the line behind Salač to match his fourth from Saturday and this time he managed a smile.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Carlos Tatay
Carlos Tatay – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

There certainly was no smile from Garcia after his fifth. Carlos Tatay, the 15-year-old Spaniard, took a fine sixth. Race one victor Ryusei Yamanaka finished seventh in the second bout.

Race 2 provided a disappointing end to Billy Van Eerde’s weekend when the youngster was taken out by another rider from behind while in 13th place early in the race.

Red Bull Rookies Austria R Can Oncu Xavier Artigas Filip Salac
Red Bull Rookies Race 2 Podium – Red Bull Rookies – Austria, 2018

Race 2 Result

  1. Xavier ARTIGAS SPA 28’39.989
  2. Can ÖNCÜ TUR +0.272
  3. Filip SALAC CZE +0.417
  4. Deniz ÖNCÜ TUR +0.630
  5. Steward GARCIA COL +0.646
  6. Carlos TATAY SPA +0.816
  7. Ryusei YAMANAKA JPN +0.871
  8. Gerry SALIM INA +1.064
  9. Yuki KUNII JPN +1.308
  10. Peetu PAAVILAINEN FIN +8.451
  11. Sean KELLY USA +8.683
  12. …DNF. Billy Van Eerde AUS

Red Bull Rookies Standings

  1. Can Öncü – Turkey – 196
  2. Deniz Öncü – Turkey – 134
  3. Xavier Artigas – Spain – 124
  4. Filip Salač – Czech Republic – 122
  5. Ryusei Yamanaka – Japan – 104
  6. Carlos Tatay – Spain – 102
  7. Adrián Carrasco – Spain – 56
  8. Steward Garcia – Colombia – 53
  9. Barry Baltus – Belgium – 51
  10. Sean Kelly – USA – 51
    …20. Billy Van Eerde – AUS – 12

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