2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Round 4 – Sachsenring, Germany
Matteo Bertelle has continued his impressive performance at Sachsenring over the weekend, with the 17-year-old Italian taking pole after being fast all day, while consistently fast Rookies Cup rider Dani Holgado grabbed second on the grid ahead of Indonesian 17-year-old Mario Aji.
Just a second covered the top 13 KTM RC250 Rs with Mugello’s debut victor Taiyo Furusato heading up the second row. Alongside the 15-year-old Japanese sat 16-year-old Marcos Uriarte and fellow Spaniard and Cup points leader 15-year-old David Muñoz.
The grid positions were up in the air ahead of the start of Race 1 though as some ‘tactical riding’ drew the attention of Race Direction.
“Finally a pole position, it’s incredible for me because the last time we were here in the Sachsenring it wasn’t good at all. But this year I have a good pace and a good mentality. Today I have a good feeling with the bike especially when using a new tyre and I’m ready for tomorrow. I hope to make a perfect start and then let’s enjoy the race.”
Harrison Vought lined up on the grid in 22nd, while New Zealand’s Cormac Buchanan was 24th, both on the eighth row.
Sachsenring provided magnificent action as always with 14 KTMs battling for the lead for most of the race. At the flag it was Colombian David Alonso who held the slightest advantage over Marcos Uriarte and David Muñoz.
“It was a very difficult race because 19 laps on this circuit is very tiring, also because of the very hot weather. I was in 7th position on the grid, in the first laps I was calm. Then I tried to push, make my own pace and get away from the group, but it wasn’t possible. So I let them pass, waited to the last laps and I knew that going onto the last lap it was clear, I needed to be first. I was riding well and I then just needed to defend my position and that’s what I did. It’s very positive because after a race long battle I could take another win and that’s very good for my confidence. The tyres did drop off but for me it was good because I could also be fast on old tyres and it was not a problem. At the end they passed me on the brakes but ran wide and I could make a good last corner and win.”
Alonso’s third win of the season puts the 15-year-old back on top of the points table but only by six-points from David Muñoz, the 15-year-old Spaniard, who did a fantastic job of recovering from a long lap penalty.
“Today was very good, the race was very hard because the tyres dropped off a lot. It was difficult to manage the race but I pushed every lap to my limit and I am very happy to have finished second. Tomorrow I hope to win.”
“It was very hot and hard today at the Sachsenring but it was a good race. It was difficult for me because of the long lap penalty but I managed to fight back to the front. I did go for the lead on the last lap on the bakes at the bottom of the hill but then was wide and lost the advantage. Now I must focus on tomorrow and I am looking for more.”
Third on the Cup table is Dani Holgado who was in the lead battle as always but was just out of podium contention on the final lap thanks to a three rider fall in turn one that split the eight-rider lead group. He crossed the line fourth, just ahead of another 16-year-old Spaniard Iván Ortolá.
“It was a difficult race for me today because in the lead group on the last lap there was a crash with Bertelle, Muñoz (Daniel) and Furusato so I lost distance to the first three. But it was still enough for 4th position, good points for the championship. Tomorrow we have another opportunity, 4th is not bad but I prefer first position.”
Australian Harrison Voight finished the opening race 12th after seven weeks away from racing, just behind Sho Nishimura. Cormac Buchanan meanwhile finished 17th.
In Race 2 Matteo Bertelle won his first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race in dramatic fashion. The 17-year-old Italian was in the lead battle all the way and managed to avoid a five rider fall at the start of the final laps that took out the rest of the lead group.
After his solitary last lap he crossed the line over two-seconds ahead of Daniel Muñoz with Tatchakorn Buasri granted third after Diogo Moreira was penalised a place for a last lap track limits infraction.
It had been another incredible battle and with the laps counting down Saturday’s winner David Alonso looked most comfortable in the lead. As the pack went onto the last lap he was under great pressure from Daniel Holgado, David Muñoz, Marcos Uriarte, Iván Ortolá and Bertelle.
The six all funnelled into Turn 1 and simply didn’t fit, Bertelle managed to back out of it but the other five ended in the gravel, fortunately without serious injury.
“It has been a fantastic weekend. Yesterday was an unlucky day but today was a lucky day. I am so sorry for the other guys who crashed but this is the race. I had a very good feeling with the bike and I say thanks to my mechanic Frederico and everyone who supports me so much and I will see you in Austria.”
“It was a very difficult race because I have pain in my arm all week. But I am happy for the podium. I still want more because I couldn’t run with the first group in the last laps. For this I am not happy but I am training and working for the next races. I still need to improve a lot of things and I want to battle at the front at the Red Bull Ring and have the rhythm to be fighting at the front right to the last laps.”
“Today I am very happy because I improved a lot, I was fighting in the front group. In the last few laps I lost the leaders as I had a big highside as I opened the throttle and then there was a big gap to the lead group. Then the front group had a big crash and I was then fighting for 2nd place. It was a great last lap battle and finally I could get the podium. I am very excited and happy with the result. I think we made big improvements and I can’t wait to go racing again.”
“Today I made a good start but in the first corner I touched with some rider and then I was at the back of the group more or less, waiting until the last laps. I felt good and also the riders were pushing hard so I stayed there. Then with 5 laps to go I got into the lead and I pushed hard. I was happy that I could do good laps alone. It was fast but I could not get away. In the last lap I was second but going to be first then one rider hit us all and that finished the race.”
Aussie Harrison Voight had a better second race taking a personal best eighth-place finish from a 21st start, tagging onto the lead group and battling as high as third on the final lap.
“My goal for Race 1 was to finish, and gain some confidence back after not racing in seven weeks. To finish being inside the points was something I didn’t expect. I had a great start, was aggressive on the first five laps and just went for any gap that I seen available, definitely made some passes in places that I didn’t think it was possible to stay on… I kept pushing to my limit and tagged onto the back of the group. On the final lap I was in the battle for third place! Beyond happy with the progress I made this weekend and I was the sixth fastest rider in the race, less then two tenths having the fastest lap of the race including only being three-seconds off the race winner! Thanks to those that made it possible, feels good to be back racing.”
Cormac Buchanan came home in 16th in Race 2, beating Bartholome Perrin.
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