Sandcastles, pizza and the closest, most exciting racing in the World. It’s the final two races on the 2023 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season at Misano on the Adriatic coast.
The fact that the Cup title was decided in favour of Angel Piqueras back in Assen did not reduce in the slightest the intensity of the racing in Spielberg and the success was split equally between the new champion and fellow 16-year-old Spaniard Álvaro Carpe.
The friendly rivals took a win and a 2nd each so that Carpe increased his grip on 2nd in the points table. His closest rival Max Quiles had a typical weekend, super fast but imperfect, a close 4th in Race 1 but a recovery to 8th after running off the track early in Race 2.
The 15-year-old Spaniard still holds 3rd in the table ahead of fast Finn Rico Salmela who had pole and two excellent 3rds. The 15-year-old is still looking for his first win of the season and will need to claim that top step if he is going to get 2nd in the final points table. He is 39 off Carpe in 2nd and 8 off Quiles in 3rd.
He has the numbers
Piqueras makes no secret of the fact that he wants to become the most successful Rookie in the 17-year history. At the Red Bull Ring his win put him on equal footing with Karel Hanika who scored 10 wins in 2 seasons and with Bo Bendsneyder who recorded 8 victories in 2015.
Last season Quiles seemed to have the edge over Piqueras scoring 3 wins to his rival’s 2. This season he has been unable to challenge Piqueras who has dominated completely. As Piqueras departs for the Moto3 World Championship, Quiles would love to show that he should be next in line with a couple of wins in Italy.
They have the fans
He is not alone in that thought of course and the local heroes, 15-year-old Dodo Boggio and Guido Pini would love to thrill the crowd. Pini has been super fast in his first Rookie season and claimed a 2nd and a 3rd but he still needs consistency and that first win.
Boggio has missed 2 events through injury and has yet to get the results his very obvious talent deserves and may well do that this weekend.
Others to watch out for, looking to claim their first win, include South African 16-year-old Ruche Moodley, Malaysian 16-year-old Hakim Danish and Australian 18-year-old Jacob Roulstone.
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 17:00 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 08:50, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.