José Rueda is the man everyone is chasing as the 16-year-old Spaniard added pole position to his points lead going into this weekend’s Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races in Jerez.
He has only a small advantage over Filippo Farioli who was 0.054 seconds slower but the 16-year-old Italian will start from 3 places back after being penalised for speeding in the pit lane.
In the middle of the front row of KTM RC 250 Rs instead is fellow Italian Luca Lunetta with Australian Harrison Voight alongside.
Rueda Ready to Race
The Seville local lives less than an hour away from the track. “The bike is very good, not perfect, the rear was sliding around a bit but I think it is the same for everyone. I am very happy with my first Rookies Cup pole.
“It will not be an easy race, I might try but I think it is very hard to break away here, it is too easy to slipstream and very hard to make a gap.”
Farioli falls back
“I’m, sorry about the penalty for speeding in the pit lane, I will learn from that. But the bike is great and I am very happy with the lap time. It really felt good out there, I was enjoying myself. So now I am a little bit back but I think I can go forward in the race. I will try and I am quite confident of a good battle.”
Lunetta steps up
“The bike is good, we tried a different sprocket in every session and finally settled for the right one in Qualifying,” enthused the 15-year-old. “In the end I have a very good feeling for the bike and tomorrow we will start at the front. I am really happy with the improvement this year, thanks to the great support from the staff since I became a Rookie. The track, yes I like it, from now I really like it,” laughed the teenager.
Voight ready for the battle
“My aim was to be first or second row so that’s OK,” said the 15-year-old Aussie before knowing he had been promoted to the front row by Lunetta’s penalty. “It’s good enough for the race, Hopefully I can just get a good start and see how it goes from there.”
“I stopped in Qualifying because my setting from FP2 was not good enough I was on the limit but we improved the front and it’s good now.”
Piqueras passed fit to ride
Portimão pole man Angel Piqueras, the 15-year-old Spaniard, broke two toes in this right foot when he fell while challenging Rueda for the lead in Race 1 in Portugal. “It’s not too bad,” he said, icing the foot after qualifying 5th. “On the bike I really don’t notice it too much and also it is not slowing me down a lot. Of course it is not perfect but I am happy to be riding and the lap time is not too bad.”
Rico Salmela, the 15-year-old Fin was happy enough with the bike but not with his 6th fastest time. “Yes the bike is fine, I was not impressed with the other riders slowing down though. It ruined my chances of getting a better time. It’s my first year and step by step things are getting better.”
“The tyre performance dropped off so we’ll see how the race goes, it might be best to keep some performance for the last few laps, it depends what happens.”
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 17:15 CEST on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 16:30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.
Follow us on social media: