Young Italian Red Bull MotoGP Rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio came out on top on Day Two of a double-header of races at Germany’s Sachsenring this weekend, snatching victory from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup dominator Bo Bendsneyder in the very last corner of Sunday’s race.
By taking the win, Di Giannantonio spoiled the perfect scorecard of the talented young Dutch rider who has been the clear winner in the first five rounds. Bendsneyder continues to lead the Cup points but Di Giannantonio has now trimmed his advantage to 16 points. With seven races left on the program the competition is still wide open.
In what was shaping up to be another almost certain victory for Bendsneyder, he and Di Giannantonio were locked in battle on the short, but very demanding German circuit. They had distanced themselves from the rest of the field by a massive 11-seconds and were swapping the lead back and forth in a festival of slipstreaming when the race went right down to the wire. Then suddenly, Bendsneyder made an uncharacteristic error and slid out on very last corner leaving the way clear for his Italian rival to spoil his party.
“It has made a huge difference to the championship,” Di Giannantonio said after the race. “I am going to fight Bo all the way now. It is so great to stand here on the podium as a winner after fighting so hard. It all came down to the last lap and I planned to pass him at the last corner, I had the same plan yesterday but then we touched at the first corner and I couldn’t do it.”
Bendsneyder was gracious in defeat, admitting he had made a mistake: “I just braked too hard and the front folded under. We had a great battle and the bike was quite good, just like yesterday and we didn’t change anything. Towards the end it was sliding quite a bit on the left and then at the last corner I was just too late and too hard on the brakes.”
With Bendsneyder out of the running, it was an unexpected second place bonus for 15-year-old Spaniard Marc Garcia, who before the incident had been in the running for his second third place podium in the two days of racing. Behind him, Japanese talent 15-year-oldKaito Toba took third, a big improvement on his seventh place finish on Saturday.
Marc Garcia: “It was very close and we were swapping places at every corner. The bike was good and I just had give it everything on the last lap.” Toba added: “It was a very tough race, this is not an easy track to learn but finally I was really enjoying it and we had a very good race. I know that I still need to improve and we have more new tracks to learn and I want to do even more at Brno.”
But it was not a happy outcome for pole sitter Oscar Gutierrez of Spain who, after managing fifth on Saturday, then exited the track during the warm up lap while warming up the tires. Nor was it a reason to celebrate for 14-year-old Japanese rider Ayumu Sasaki. After a great second place finish on Saturday he also made an untimely exit on the first lap on Sunday.
The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup reconvenes at the Brno circuit the Czech Republic for another two-race weekend on August 15-16, as part of the program of the MotoGP weekend.
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Sachsenring, Germany – Round 6
Note: All riders on KTM RC 250 R – Figures in parenthesis represent riders’ results in each of the two races this weekend
Results (16-lap race)
1, Fabio Di Giannantonio, ITA, 28:34.469 (4 – 1)
2, Marc Garcia, ESP, at 11.948 (3 – 2)
3, Kaito Toba, JPN, at 12.058 (7 – 3)
4, Raul Fernandez, ESP, at 12.106 (12 – 4)
5, Olly Simpson, AUS, at 13.954 (8 – 5)
6, Enzo Boulom, FRA, at 15.535 (9 – 6)
7, Aleix Viu, ESP, at 15.590 (6 – 7)
8, Mattia Casadei, ITA, at 29.709 (14 – 8)
9, Robert Schotman, NED, at 29.845 (11 – 9)
10, Bruno Ieraci, ITA, at 41.164 (DNF – 10)
Cup Championship Points after Round 6
1, Bo Bendsneyder, NED, 125
2, Di Giannantonio, 109
3, Garcia, 73
4, Oscar Gutierrez, ESP, 73
5, Boulom, 62
6, Simpson, 51
7, Toba, 51
8, Ayumu Sasaki, JAP, 50
9, Viu, 35
10, Fernandez, 33
More at: www.redbullrookiescup.com
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