Marc Garcia has thrown himself at the championship chase with a fabulous Brno double while Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup points leader Ayumu Sasaki kept his challenge rolling with third behind fellow title hopeful Raúl Fernández. Aleix Viu hung on to second place in the points table but suffered most after 12 laps in the Czech Republic crossing the line seventh.
Though Garcia won convincingly it was a fantastic four man battle to the line for the remaining rostrum places that swapped around at the final left/right. Sasaki was foiled in his bid for second by Fernández, Patrik Pulkkinen was edged out by Rory Skinner, also making a bold stab at a podium finish.
At the end of a miserable soaking wet day the track was drying steadily as the Rookies Cup KTM RC 250 R’s were made ready. But with plenty of wet patches still to be seen and spots of water still occasionally falling the race was declared wet and shortened by 2 laps.
Pulkkinen, the 15-year-old Finn, shot away from the middle of the front row into the lead just as he had on Saturday, chased by 16-year-old Spaniard Garcia and Sasaki, the 15-year-old Japanese. Garcia, brimming with confidence after Saturday’s win, soon took the lead and left the rest.
“I felt good from the start,” he explained. “I have a great feeling with the bike and I just wanted to push as hard as I could to get away. I got a good rhythm and wanted to open up a good gap while the tyres were still working well. By half distance they were sliding around a lot but I knew what they were doing and I had a good lead so it wasn’t a problem.”
“It has closed up the points a bit. There is still a gap but I love Misano and Aragon so I can’t wait to get into the last three races,” concluded the Catalan who is still fourth in the title chase but just 37 off Sasaki after winning three of the last four races.
Fernández is back
After a run of average results by his high standards, the Dutch TT double winner was back on the podium after a four race absence. ”Not a great weekend but at least I didn’t lose any points to Sasaki,” explained the 15-year-old Spaniard. “Today really was unique conditions, rain tyres on a dry track and I was OK with that, I got a good feeling but by then Marc had got away and I could not follow.”
“In the second half of the race the tyres were sliding a lot so I was caught by the second group but at least I won that battle at the last corner,” concluded Fernández who is still third and 32 behind Sasaki.
Sasaki is always there
Continuing his almost perfect podium run, just the fourth in Race 1 in Assen, the Japanese is defending his advantage at the top of the table. “I have never raced with wet tyres on a dry track before so I did not know what to expect. I took my time to understand the tyres in these conditions but the leaders were faster and I couldn’t follow.”
“When I found the rhythm I could catch them without taking too many risks so it was not too bad for the championship. I am not really happy with the result but I am happy for the experience,” stated Sasaki positively.
Pulkkinen and Skinner robbed
“I don’t look happy, but I am inside,” claimed Pulkkinen who had been in the hunt all the way and even re-caught Fernández in the closing stages. “I got a good feeling for the bike and enjoyed the battle but not the finish,” he explained after missing out in the last corner shuffle.
“I tried,” stated Skinner, the 14 year old Scot. “I was battling with the bike as I did yesterday and the front just wasn’t working the way I wanted but I did have a go over the last laps. The tyres were moving around but it was OK, if I can just get the front working the way I want in Misano it will make a big difference.”
The single race at Misano takes place on September 9th with the final two races in Aragon on September 24th and 25th.