Two Japanese rising stars will stand on either side of Cup points leader Carlos Tatay on the grid for the German round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Yuki Kunii, the 16-year-old, demonstrated that he has overcome his Mugello injury with a brilliant pole while 18-year-old fellow countryman Haruki Noguchi completes the Sachsenring front row.
“It’s great to be on pole,” enthused Kunii who missed last year’s event and so was learning the track. “I know it is only one lap but it is very satisfying. The bike is very good and I enjoyed it. I know the race will still be difficult after some laps my wrist loses power so I will just have to do what I can but this is a great start to the weekend,” he added with his wonderful smile.
“I’m happy with that,” stated Tatay. “The bike is really great and I am ready to race. I had a few problems in Qualifying with everyone wanting to follow me and I struggled to get some track to myself but in the end it is OK and I am ready for the race. I will just wait and see how the rhythm of the race is, of course I would like to get away but if the race is like Assen that is no problem.”
Noguchi nearly there
“Yes that was good,” said Noguchi. “I had to learn the track and that’s not easy here as there are a lot of blind corners but it is a good circuit. Early on in qualifying I made a little mistake but then I wanted to be faster but I always found other riders, I would hang back, leave a gap and go again but it never quite worked out perfectly. Still I am on the front row, the bike is good and I am feeling confident. I’m going out to win tomorrow. From the start I will tell myself to be calm but then push.”
Van Eerde very pleased with fourth
“That feels really good,” said the Australian who had a run of three red helmets at the end of the session but did not convert it into pole. “I must have made a mistake through the last corners but fourth is OK. Through Assen and here we’ve made a step forward, I feel good on the bike, we improved it a bit here and it was good for qualifying, that’s my best position in Rookies Cup so far.”
Salvador settled on fifth
“That’s OK, a new track for me but it’s good and I’m happy with the bike setting and qualifying fifth is not bad, I think I can have a good race,” stated Salvador who stands second in the points chase, 53 behind Tatay and 3 ahead of Kunii.
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 17:10 CEST on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 15:30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.