Öncü Can do it again
Can Öncü claimed his third win in four Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races as he showed complete mastery of the Sachsenring. Chasing him home on their KTM RC 250 Rs were Aleix Viu and Kazuki Masaki and while they gave Öncü a hard time for most of the 19 laps they had no answer to the 13-year-old Turk’s pace over the last three.
Twin brother Deniz Öncü who had won Race 1 on Saturday was working his way up from his 10th place on the grid until put out with a broken radiator clip that allowed the coolant to leak out.
Viu had only scored a single point from his 15th place finish in Race 1 and the 16-year-old Spaniard knew that he needed to stop new points leader Can Öncü from increasing his advantage. Equally Masaki, who had a super consistent run of good results had only crossed the line 10th in the wet and the 16-year-old Japanese also had his sights on the points lead.
So the trio jumped away from the pack early and put on a great demonstration of cut and thrust. “I tried to get away from the first laps,” explained Can Öncü. “I pushed hard but couldn’t get away, they were fast. So I settled down and just looked after my tyres a bit thinking I would try again in the last five laps.”
“That’s what I did, I really pushed at the end but I thought that they might still catch me on the last lap. I think they must have made a mistake or something though because then my father showed me a 1.9 second lead. I thought, ‘I’m an angel’ and I still pushed but then eased off for the last two corners. I’m so happy to win that.”
Viu had done everything he could. “I rode as hard as I could but it was a very hard race. Can would get away through part of the lap and then I would catch him again. In the end both tyres were destroyed. Also there were some drops of rain towards the end and I realised that it would be too easy to fall off and lose everything so I eased off at the end, knowing Masaki was a bit behind.”
Masaki had also given everything and recorded the fastest lap of the race on lap 4. “It was a very hard race and after about five laps the rear tyre was finished and it was sliding around a lot. I rode as hard as I could to fight with the others but I am disappointed that I couldn’t do better than third,”
Omar Bonoli on the other hand was happy with a great fourth after a race long private battle with Ryusei Yamanaka, especially after Saturday’s jump start disaster. “It wasn’t a good start today,” explained Bonoli sheepishly. “That’s normal for me but at least I didn’t get a ride through again. It was a hard race and we couldn’t go with the lead group which was a shame but I am happy for this good result. When Yamanaka came past I just stayed with him and waited to pass at the end.”
The 15-year-old Italian had been glued to Japanese 15-year-old Yamanaka the whole race and Yamanaka wasn’t that thrilled with fifth even though it was clearly his best finish in his first season of Rookies Cup just as it was Bonoli’s in his third year. “I need to raise my level if I am going to battle with the front guys and that is what I must do,” he said with uncharacteristic seriousness.
Behind that solitary pair was a magnificent battle for sixth eventually won by 16-year-old German Matthias Meggle. The next two Rookies Cup races are at Brno in the Czech Republic on August 5th and 6th.