MotoGP 2011 – Round Nine – Sachsenring
Red Bull Rookies head to Sachsenring with Sissis and Baldassarri leading the way
The big question coming to the Sachsenring and races 10 and 11 in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup is; ‘Who can stop Arthur Sissis and Lorenzo Baldassarri.’ The 16 year old Australian and the 14 year old Italian have started to dominate the 14 round series but with 5 races left to run it is far from over.
The German Grand Prix venue is very different to the recent rounds in Italy, The Netherlands and Britain but the biggest change in the result may be brought about by the climate rather than the circuit. The last 5 races have been significantly effected by the weather and a dry track this coming weekend could provide the biggest change.
That is certainly what many riders are wishing for as summed up by 13 year old British Rookie Kyle Ryde; “Hoping for good weather at Germany, sick of the rain.” He is just one of the riders who’s confidence has suffered in all the cold and damp. Another is 15 year old South African Brad Binder. He started the year on pole position for the 2 opening rounds in Jerez and Estoril and scored a 2nd place and a victory to show that he was a serious threat for this year’s Cup.
In the last 5 races Binder has only netted 13 points while Baldassarri has scored 96 and Sissis 86 to lead the table by 17 from his Italian rival. Binder is back in 9th but has the perfect opportunity to rocket out of that slump. He was brilliant last year at the Sachsenring, finishing 2nd in both races and hounding eventual Cup champion Jake Gagne across the line both times. He very much has the edge over Baldassarri who has never seen the track before and Sissis who was 11th and 9th in the 2 races last season.
It is not just down to Binder though to provide a challenge as the local heroes Philipp Oettl and Florian Alt have very much returned to form after their early season injuries. The 15 year old Germans both need to improve their starts and pace in the early laps if they are to take the battle to Baldassarri and Sissis but both have the pace. Oettl finished 5th in Mugello with the fastest lap of the race and Alt was 3rd in the 2nd race in Assen, similarly with the fastest lap.
Oettl has already shown he can win having scored that classic victory in the opening round in Spain and 2nd in race 2 at Jerez. The Germans will also be fighting for the podium places with 18 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous who finally translated his obvious pace into 2nd in Mugello and Aaron Espana, the 13 year old Spaniard who’s 3rd in Mugello matches his 3rd in race 2 in Jerez.
If the weather is as unkind to the Rookies as it has been so far this year then there will be few betting against Baldassarri and Sissis. The Italian particularly has been stunning in all conditions while Sissis was able to shrug off a disastrous wet Silverstone with a 2nd and 1st in variable conditions in Assen. If there is rain in Germany then Binder must follow the example that Sissis set and shed his dislike of the wet or say good-bye to Cup glory.
The 125 points still on offer this season leave the Cup race very much open with the first 25 of those to be decided starting at 16.30 CET on Saturday July 16th with another 25 on offer in race 2 at 15.30 on Sunday July 17th. Both races can be seen on TV around the world and on www.redbull.tv with the programs starting 10 minutes before the race times.