The Öncü twins dominated all three Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup sessions on Friday at the Sachsenring. The 14-year-old Turks swapped places at the head of the timing screens but it was always Cup leader Can who ended up on top with Deniz just behind and 0.052 seconds slower when it counted in Qualifying.
Right with them were two Spanish 15-year-olds; Adrián Carrasco completes the front row in Germany with Xavier Artigas heading up row 2. The top 20 KTM RC 250 Rs are separated by less than two seconds.
One or the other from the east
“Yes I’m happy with today,” explained Can Öncü. “Leading all the sessions like Assen. But the main thing is that I am confident after running a good race simulation in Qualifying. My brother and I set our times quite early and I then just concentrated on being consistent and I was in the low 1m 29s lap after lap. That is what I know I have to do in the race and I hope that if Deniz can also get a good start then we can run together at the front.”
“We worked on the bike a bit and improved it through the day so thanks again to everyone in the Rookies Cup for working so hard to give me a great bike,” concluded the curly haired teen who won Race 2 in Germany last year. His brother has a lot less hair but no less ambition. “I just need to finish one place better tomorrow,” said Deniz with his huge grin.
“It was a good day, nice and sunny,” continued Deniz. “FP2 was a bit hot and the bike was sliding a lot but it seemed a bit cooler in Qualifying and we had more grip. I did my best lap time alone so for the race that is really positive and I think it should be good,” concluded last year’s very wet Race 1 winner.
Or the pair from Iberia
The chasing Spaniards are confident that the twins from the opposite end of the Mediterranean will not have everything their own way. “Yes, I can race with them,” asserts Carrasco. “I really like this track, from the start of the day I had a good feeling with the bike and the track. We did improve the bike a bit, step by step through the day and I think I can race with them, I will try.”
Artigas was on the podium in both races in Assen and is keen on the top step. “I had a good feeling all day even if in FP1 the rear was sliding a lot but things improved for FP2 and I was quicker thanks to an improvement with the rear suspension. Then a small change in the front for Qualifying and I am very happy, I think I can race at the front.”
And one from the north
Peetu Paavilainen, the 16-year-old Finn has taken a good step forward and qualified fifth. “It was a good day, yes, the bikes was moving around a lot but through the day we improved it and it is certainly better now and I think I can have a good race. Unfortunately I have a penalty,” explained Paavilainen who loses six places on Saturday´s grid for ignoring a black flag in the first practice session.
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.