The drama and excitement of Races 9 and 10 of the 2022 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season will have a lot to say about the destiny of the trophy. The circuit offers spectacular beauty and fabulously intense competition. The home GP for both KTM and Red Bull, every turn is a challenge and the last two corners are where big hearts and fabulous skill produce awesome results.
José Rueda leads Collin Veijer by just 10 points at the head of the table and while the 16-year-old Spaniard and 17-year-old Dutchman may well battle it out to the final weekend in Valencia the rest of the pack need to get back on terms now.
The leading pair have 5 podiums apiece but Rueda has the edge in wins, 3 to 2. Veijer has the advantage of making his 3rd visit to the Red Bull Ring but learning circuits does not seem to have caused Rueda too much stress in his debut season. All the riders have the new chicane section to learn.
Third in the points chase is Màx Quiles, 54 adrift from the lead but the Spanish 14-year-old has already shown that he knows how to score big with two wins to his name. 6 remaining races mean 150 points on offer so the gap can be closed but that has to start this weekend.
Luca Lunetta is 4th and the Italian 16-year-old is a further 8 behind, just 1 ahead of Spanish 15-year-old Angel Piqueras who was the victor last time out at the Sachsenring. 4th to 10 are covered by just 16 points so Harrison Voight, the 15-year-old Australian, is 10th and could still win the Cup.
Has to be done
Those hopes get rapidly thinner if Rueda and Veijer’s advantage is not eaten into in Austria. So Casey O’Gorman, the Irish 15-year-old, has to do even better than the 2nd and 3rd he started the season with. Similarly Italian 17-year-old Filippo Farioli scored a 2nd in Mugello and a 3rd at the Sachsenring. Tatchakorn Buasri was a podium man in Mugello, with the the 21-year-old Thai going 2-3. 14-year-old Fin Rico Salmela has a 3rd from Race 1 in Italy.
That makes 6 riders with podiums but as yet no race wins. If any of them can shift gear and get on the top step then Rookies Cup history can change course. But time, and races, are running out.
Skinner hits a century
Since our last event in Germany another statistic has been entered in the record books with 20-year-old Scotsman Rory Skinner, Rookie in 2015, 16 and 17 becoming the 100th ex Rookie to make a GP start when he rode in the Moto2 Grand Prix at Silverstone. So over 50% of ex Rookies have sat on a Grand Prix grid.
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 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 16:20, 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 rookiescup.redbull.com/