Testing Times In Portugal For The Red Bull Rookies CupTricky track conditions over three days and the demanding and thrilling Portimão Grand Prix circuit made it a real test preseason for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Though some of the riders already knew where the track went no one had ridden it on a KTM RC 250 R Cup bike.

Second year Rookie Collin Veijer, the 16-year-old Dutchmen, explained how it went. “On the first day we had to prepare everything for running in Portimão for the first time with the Rookies bike. So the first day was a little bit hard, you have to see the little points on the track. After a few sessions I got the feeling back, both on the track and on the bike.”

“Day 2 was difficult because we had rain for the first session. The second session was with wet patches, the same for the third and fourth, so it was hard to push to the limit. Today, in the first session we also had wet patches still as there was rain in the morning. Then we had the race simulation.”

“In the beginning of the race simulation I didn’t get the right feeling but then I settled in, got behind some fast riders and I could push more and I felt good. Then the tyres dropped off and it was hard to push but I am feeling good on the bike.”

“I think we can still improve the bike, go a little bit softer on the front and we can try that but really I’m ready to race next weekend.”

More to learn for O’Shea
There was even more to get used to for the newcomers like 14-year-old Briton Eddie O’Shea. “I have a very good feeling with the test, obviously I’m not risking too much, we’ve got the first races just next weekend and you don’t score points in the test.”

“For sure there’s a lot more to learn with the Rookies Cup bike, it’s a lot different to any bike I’ve ridden before. With this you need to be aggressive, it needs to have a direction, I definitely think I need to get more used to it and we’ll do that next Friday.

“It’s my first time here, the track is something special, it’s crazy. I do enjoy the track. I don’t think it’s one that amazingly suits my style but I don’t dislike it.”

Lunetta much happier
“Last year I didn’t feel good with the bike but now it has really changed,” enthused Italian 14-year-old Luca Lunetta ahead of his second season. “I feel much more confident and happy with the KTM, especially the entry into the corner. I can enter much faster than last year and I am ready for a much better season, I’m ready for the first round. I think the setting of the bike is quite perfect.”

“The circuit is fantastic, it is the first time here for me, it’s a roller coaster, the most crazy track I have ever seen.”

Uriarte a better man
“The test was very good for me,” explained Marcos Uriarte, the 16-year-old Spaniard preparing for his third year. “I feel good on the bike and on the circuit, I am very happy. I am more confident than before, I trained very hard this winter, I am better prepared, my mentality has improved and I am ready to do much better.”

“I really like the track, it’s my second time here, I was here two weeks ago. I have a good rhythm here and we have got the bike working really well, we can race with the bike as we have it now.”

Alonso knows what to do
“It is a very positive test,” stated second year Rookie David Alonso, the 14-year-old Spaniard. “I feel we really improved the bike from last year and we are ready to race. The weather and the wind can change things here so we might have to change for next weekend, we will see but we have a good setting I think.”

“I think I have also improved myself from last year, I worked hard through the winter and I know that some points from last were not good and I think I have worked on those.”

“It’s a favourite track for me, every lap you do is fun with all the ups and downs, it’s a great track to ride.”

Rider Coaches impressed 
“It was a great test,” enthused Gustl Auinger, happy to start his 15th rider coaching season. “It was especially good because this year, getting the newcomers without having a Selection Event, I was not really sure how it would work out. But these new guys fit perfectly into our Rookies Cup and after just three sessions it was not possible to see the difference between the newcomers and the ones in the second or even the third year.”

“All the sessions went really well, yesterday (day 2) the weather conditions were not clear, it was typical April weather with sunshine, wind and rain. In these tricky conditions we did have some little crashes but everyone is OK and I am really really happy with what I have seen in these three days.”

Fellow coach Dani Ribalta felt that the conditions made the test particularly valuable. “We had all conditions, no wind, wind from every direction, rain, it was crazy. On the first day the track was dirty but got cleaned, the lap times they did on day one they could not better even on day three. On day two we had rain and after that the track stayed slippery even as it dried and left some damp patches.”

“The wind changed throughout and on day three it was completely different and tricky on some corners. It was a good test to try everything, all the sprockets and the new surface seemed quite hard on the tyres. It was a really full test.”

Just a few days to rest and reflect and then the first two of the 14 race season will be contested as part of the Portuguese Grand Prix. The GP stars keep an eye on what the Rookies are doing and everyone is glued to the World Championship classes where ex Rookies lead the MotoGP and Moto3 points tables.

This year’s 26 Rookies Cup riders from 16 nations brings the total for the 15 seasons to 210 riders representing 36 nationalities.

Provisional Calendar
Races 1-2 April 17-18 Portimão – Portugal
Races 3-4 May 1-2 Jerez – Spain
Races 5-6 May 29-30 Mugello – Italy
Races 7-8 June 19-20 Sachsenring – Germany
Races 9-10 July 10-11 KymiRing – Finland
Races 11-12 August 14-15 Red Bull Ring – Austria
Races 13-14 September 11-12 Aragon – Spain

Entry List
5 Tatchakorn Buasri (Thailand)
7 Daniel Muñoz (Spain)
8 Eddie O‘Shea (Great Britain)
9 Freddie Heinrich (Germany)
13 Sho Nishimura (Japan)
14 Cormac Buchanan (New Zealand)
19 Scott Ogden (Great Britain)
21 Demis Mihaila (Italy)
23 Alex Millan (Spain)
24 Ivan Ortolá (Spain)
28 Matteo Bertelle (Italy)
29 Harrison Voight (Australia)
34 Mario Aji (Indonesia)
39 Bartholomé Perrin (France)
42 Soma Görbe (Hungary)
48 Gabin Planques (France)
55 Noah Dettwiler (Switzerland)
58 Luca Lunetta (Italy)
64 David Muñoz (Spain)
77 Filippo Farioli (Italy)
78 Jakob Rosenthaler (Austria)
80 David Alonso (Colombia)
89 Marcos Uriarte (Spain)
92 Diogo Moreira (Brazil)
95 Collin Veijer (Netherlands)
96 Daniel Holgado (Spain)

Testing Times In Portugal For The Red Bull Rookies Cup

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/

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