From the Netherlands, across Germany to the Sachsenring we go and there we will pivot into the second half of the 12 race Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season. Who can stop Carlos Tatay? We have plenty of candidates, starting with all of those who ran him so close at Assen: David Salvador, Pedro Acosta, Haruki Noguchi, and Barry Baltus.
While Tatay, the 16-year-old Spaniard, has a 57 point advantage over Salvador the others are all gaining experience, 15-year-old fallow countrymen Acosta and Salvador are both in their first Rookies Cup seasons and Baltus only turned 15 in May. They will close the gap.
Experience and youth
At 18, Noguchi is the elder Rookie but it is his first season on the KTM RC 250 R and by his own assertion he had a cautious Jerez. The aforementioned have all been quick from the start of the season but last weekend we saw others step up their pace.
Marcos Uriarte the 14-year-old Spaniard would have been on the podium in Race 1 and possibly in Race 2 had be not been penalised for cutting the chicane in both races. He too is learning and is unlikely to make a similar error in Germany. Max Cook, the 16-year-old Briton was a close fourth in Race 2 and states that he will, from now on, be part of that front running pack.
But Tatay’s biggest challenge may well come from the only other rider to have scored a victory this year: Yuki Kunii, the 16-year-old Japanese who won the first race of the season. He was brought down in Mugello and subsequently had his right wrist plated. He fought hard as he recovered in Assen and scored valuable 7th and 6th places.
That sixth was only 0.7 seconds behind Tatay and the charming Kunii says the wrist is getting stronger all the time. Unfortunately he missed the German round last year but he wasn’t at Assen either so track learning is not a problem for the very talented young man.
Please take note of the unusual start times for this weekend’s Race 1 on Saturday July 6th at 5:10 pm CEST. Race 2 is as usual on Sunday July 7th at 3:30 pm CEST with the live TV starting 10 minutes earlier for both races.
For next year
The application process for the 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has been open since Jerez and we have chosen another threeto be given an early invitation to the Selection Event and these riders are featured at the bottom of the page. The application process continues and can be found online: https://rookiescup.redbull.com/join-us