There will be lightning bolts on track but we will hope that the beautiful summer weather holds as we head to the Red Bull Ring for Rookies Cup races eight and nine of the twelve that make up this season. It is not Zeus but the Öncü twins who lead us to Austria as Deniz has now moved into second place in the points chase. Can has topped the table of KTM RC 250 Rs since the first race of the year in Jerez.
No sense of godly inevitability guaranteeing continued domination for the 15-year-old Turks though. Both know how quickly things can come unravelled. Can only picked up two points from Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring last year after a second corner collision. He missed out on points completely in half of the last six races in 2017 and saw the lead he’d gained thanks to four wins in the previous six races, collapse.
Czech, Spanish and Japanese
So Can currently has a 52 point advantage over brother Deniz but the pair shared the points evenly in Germany and there are still 125 on offer from the remaining five races. A further 13 adrift is 16-year-old Czech Filip Salač.
While Spanish 15-year-olds Carlos Tatay and Xavier Artigas are 78 and 81 points off the lead respectively, both are class riders who can certainly take the battle to the Öncü brothers as they build experience.
Don’t forget 16-year-old Ryusei Yamanaka, he has already been third twice this season, he likes the Red Bull Ring, was third in the all Japanese lock-out of the Race 1 podium last season, and is absolutely determined to take a step or two further up on his return.
And a Belgian
Back from injury will be fellow Japanese Yuki Kunii, the 15-year-old winner in Mugello who has unfortunately missed the last four races due to a non Rookies Cup injury. He is in his first Rookies Cup season and stands tenth in the points table behind two 14-year-old newcomers; Spaniard Adrián Huertas and Belgian Barry Baltus, they have yet to show the full results that their considerable skills promise.
The circuit is so different to the last two events, much wider and more open than both Assen and the Sachsenring, a different challenge that can upset the already unpredictable form.
This weekend’s Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Race 1 is at 16:30 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 15:30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.