Friday, April 19, 2024

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Double Top – Assen’s big Rookies Cup score

Double Top – Assen's Big Rookies Cup Score

We are due to see something big in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at the Dutch TT.

We are not playing darts but points leader Angel Piqueras is only 2 shy of the magic ‘180’ and the 16-year-old Spaniard’s nearest pursuer, fellow countryman Màximo Quiles, is only on half that. Add the score of fellow Mugello winner, Spanish 15-year-old Alberto Ferrandez, to that of 15-year-old Quiles and you get 177, a point short of Piqueras.

History suggests that one-way-or-another that will change this coming weekend, for Assen is a place for doubles. We have not been there since 2019 but before that, there was a truly remarkable run of win doubles:

Florian Alt 2012
Karel Hanika 2013
Bo Bendsneyder 2015
Raúl Fernandez 2016
Can Öncü 2017 & 18
Carlos Tatay 2019

So 7 out 8 years produced double-race victories at the classic venue. If that happens this year then it is likely to have a huge effect on the destination of the title. If it is Piqueras that discovers the magic Dutch grove then he would virtually clinch the Cup with just 4 races remaining and 100 points still to be taken.

Or not
On the other hand, if it is one of the closer followers including Álvaro Carpe the 16-year-old Spaniard or Finnish 15-year-old Rico Salmela who doubles the 25 and Piqueras misses his mojo completely then the Cup could be blown wide open.

It’s all about the flow, that’s Assen. More than any other GP circuit, the predictable surface, gentle camber and flowing combinations of curves reward a limit testing attack that must be repeated lap after lap.

Or not
The circuit can also produce a slipstreaming KTM cavalcade where any one of ten could win on the last lap. Then smoothness gives way to aggression and even desperation. Many a World Champion has ended up in the gravel at the final chicane.

Of course, the only certainty is that Rookies Cup is unpredictable, the Dutch weather can contribute to that. Whatever happens, it will be a thrilling weekend.

And then
2014 when there wasn’t a double victory? Jorge Martín scored a double 2nd on his way to winning the Cup and launching his Grand Prix career. Since then he has won the 2018 Moto3 World Championship and 12 GPs including last Sunday at the Sachsenring where he bettered the World Champion in MotoGP and now stands second in this year’s title chase.

N.B. Sunday’s race is not early morning but at 15:30 CEST

This weekend’s Rookies Cup races can be seen live on and on TV stations around the world.

Race 1 is at 17:00 CEST on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 15:30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.

For more info checkout our dedicated Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup News page Rookies Cup News

Or visit the official Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup website

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