Ai Ogura took his second win of the season with a perfectly judged final lap at Misano to lead Kazuki Masaki and Aleix Viu across the line. Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup points leader Can Öncü crashed out of the lead battle on the second lap and thus handed the championship advantage to Masaki with Viu still third.
The trio head to the final weekend in Aragon to sort out the Cup while Ogura, the 16-year-old Japanese to concentrate on winning races. “It was a hard race,” admitted Ogura. “Viu is very good on the brakes and Masaki was also fast. I could not get away from them and had to do it on the last lap. I timed my pass perfectly and managed to stay ahead.”
“The bike was great, very happy with it and I really enjoyed the race,” concluded Ogura giving his KTM RC 250 R an appreciative stroke.
Masaki leads for the first time
With a bigger smile, 17-year-old fellow Japanese Masaki revelled in his position at the head of the points table. “That is the most important thing. I wanted to win the race and I did everything I could. I pushed very hard from the start but Ogura and Viu caught me, it was a hard battle.”
“At the end I lined up and passed Viu at the end of the straight but Ogura was just too far in front for me to get him too. I am leading the points for the first time and I know it will be a hard fight in Aragon,” concluded Masaki.
Viu is still third
“I am happy even though I didn’t win,” smiled Viu who had started from pole. “It was a good race, a good pace and I was happy with the way I rode. In the end I just had the wrong gearing. It was perfect for qualifying when I was on my own but in the slipstream I was hitting the rev limiter.”
“That’s what happened on the last lap, I was hitting the limiter and Masaki came past, nothing I could do about it and there was no chance to overtake through the last few corners. Still I am in a better position than the start of the weekend, the points are a little closer and we can fight in Aragon,” added the 16-year-old Spaniard with his usual smile.
Öncü is now second
For Can Öncü it certainly isn’t over. “Nothing is finished,” asserted the 14-year-old Turk. “I made a mistake, I high sided but I will be back in Aragon and I will fight to win the Cup.”
His twin brother Deniz also mixed it at the front before eventually finishing fourth. “Yes I made a mistake,” he grinned, quite furious with himself. “I ran off and lost the group, I was so annoyed. I enjoyed the race though, I was just having a bit of trouble on the brakes, the rear coming up when I braked hard,” explained the super light Turk.
He just beat Filip Salač to the line but the 15-year-old Czech also wore a smile though a little thin from exhaustion. “I pushed hard at the start but by mid race I was hurting and tired, I did what I could but I hope in Aragon it will be better,” concluded Salač who had been second in Race 2 in Jerez but then missed the bulk of the season due to the broken leg he sustained at a non Rookies Cup event.