Young Dutch rider Bo Bendsneyder on Saturday sealed victory in the 2015 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cupwith a decisive win at the Misano Circuit in San Marino with two rounds still in hand. It was the 16-year-old’s eighth win this season.
In fact, the title was decided in the eleventh lap of the race when Italian Fabio di Giannantonio, Bendsneyder’s only real rival for the final glory, slid off the track and saw his own chances end in the gravel. It had been an admirable all-or-nothing attempt by the young Italian who knew he had to finish ahead of Bendsneyder to keep his own hopes alive.
Until that point in the race, Bendsneyder and di Giannantonio had fought out a fierce battle that saw the lead go back and forth between the two riders multiple times.
Bo Bendsneyder: “Fabio made it a really great battle as I thought he would, and I was pushing so hard to try and get away from him. Then I saw he had crashed and I had won the Cup but I didn’t back off, I wanted to make sure of winning the race.”
With the Italian out of contention, it was then up to the following group of three riders – Raul Fernandez of Spain, Japan’s Ayumu Sasaki and Marc Garcia – to close the gap. But the Dutch rider was not about to have his day spoiled. The three contenders did manage to get within less than a second of Bendsneyder who then got on the gas and delivered the fastest lap of the race in the second last lap. Fernandez and Sasaki finally had to settle for second and third, while Garcia lost contact with the front group and went on to finish fourth.
While he lost out in the end, di Giannantonio still delivered a very strong race, especially as he had started back at ninth place on the grid after some difficulties in qualifying. He also said he had given everything possible to try to keep his title hopes alive.
Fabio di Giannantonio: “Yes the bike improved a lot from qualifying, entering the corner felt better and I was able to push. But in that change of direction I felt I lost the rear wheel. I tried to catch it but I lost both. I am happy though, I did my best, I was battling for the lead positions and I did the maximum. It was the only thing to do.”
Meanwhile the new Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion promised to be back at the final two rounds in Aragon, Spain, at the end of September with only one thing in mind. He wants to go out on a high note with another couple of victories to wrap up his season.
All riders in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup compete on the KTM RC 250 R motorcycle.
Round 11 Results (16-lap race)
1, Bo Bendsneyder (NED), 30:12.651 min
2. Raul Fernandez (ESP), 30:14.077
3. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN), 30:14.119
4, Marc Garcia (ESP), 30:20.161
5. Aleix Viu (ESP), 30:20.769
Cup Championship Points after Round 11
1. Bendsneyder, 236 (Cup Champion 2015 with two rounds remaining)
2. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA), 159
3. Gutierrez, 132
4. Sasaki, 128
5. Enzo Boulom (FRA), 115
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