Viu can’t take Öncü’s Sachsenring pole
Can Öncü sits in pole position for the second weekend in a row though Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup points leader Aleix Viu did everything to wrest it from him and fell trying on the last lap. The 16-year-old Spaniard was not seriously hurt in the nasty Sachsenring fall, his second of the session.
“I really wanted that pole,” exclaimed Viu on his return from the medical centre wearing a few patches. “Two crashes in one session isn’t good, the first after I put in my good time early on. Then I worked back up to speed, was running red helmets on my way to pole but the rear let go and threw me off.”
“Still I am second fastest and I had good pace at the end when the tyres were worn and that is going to be important in the race,” concluded the Jerez Race 2 winner. Double Assen victor Öncü confirmed the importance of the tyre wear at the newly resurfaced Sachsenring. “I think that the rear is worn after four laps. It was then sliding around a lot.”
The 13-year-old Turk isn’t going to let that inhibit the way he rides his KTM RC 250 R though. “Tomorrow is full gas, the bike is working great. It wasn’t perfect in the second free practice but for qualifying it was better. I went for a race simulation from the start and that worked well, including the pole lap time. The suspension setting still wasn’t perfect though so I then came into the pits and the guys changed it. Now it is just right and I can’t wait for the race.”
Completing the front row of the grid is 15-year-old Italian Omar Bonoli, bettering his sixth place qualifying from Jerez and Assen. “I’ve been working hard for this, I’m fitter and stronger and it makes a lot of difference. The bike is working great and I really enjoy this track. For sure by the end of the race the tyres are going to be sliding about a lot but that’s OK, I want to get on the podium.”
Another impressive performance came from Adrian Carrasco, the 14-year-old Spaniard, riding at the Sachsenring for the first time and qualifying fourth. “I am very very happy with that and to be honest I don’t know how I managed it, I was just riding, enjoying it, sometimes alone, sometimes in a group and the bike was working well but I didn’t expect to be so fast,” he admitted with a great smile.
A good example
A great fifth from Peetu Paavilainen, all the more impressive as the 15-year-old Finn missed both the preseason test and Jerez through injury. “Yes I’m getting used to the bike now, I’m starting to enjoy it and I got a good tow from Aleix Viu, that really helped me both with the pace and the good line round here.”
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.