Can Öncü turned the tables on twin brother Deniz as the 14-year-old Turks dominated the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 2 at the Sachsenring and stood again for their own national anthem. Czech 16-year-old Filip Salač snatched the final podium place by the same rim width that he lost it on Saturday after a similarly brilliant battle with Adrián Carrasco, Xavier Artigas and Ryusei Yamanaka.
This time that four-way podium battle ended up covered by less than two-tenths of a second. A similar margin split the Öncü brothers who were three seconds ahead and provided a wonderful race-long contest.
“I got a very good start,” enthused Can. “I got ahead and pushed from the start, I didn’t have the same problem with the bike as yesterday and I am very happy that I could get away. Deniz chased me and did get ahead once when I made a mistake but I could get ahead of him again and that’s great because today I don’t have to give him 10 euros,” added the Cup leader with a huge smile.
Saturday’s winner Deniz was also smiling. “It’s great that we are on the podium again today. I chased him as hard as I could. He was very quick in sector one and could get away from me but I could catch him in sectors two and three but he was quick again in sector four. I could see he was quick in sector one, he could turn the bike quicker than me and get on the gas earlier. I didn’t want to change what I was doing because it was too risky.¨
“I didn’t give up, I kept pushing and I did think about passing him on the last lap but I just wasn’t close enough. I am much happier with these results than the last few races and I hope the rest of the season is like this,” concluded Deniz.
Salač was thrilled to have joined them on the podium. “They got away early in the race and so did Yamanaka while I was battling with Artigas and Carrasco. I just pushed and pushed until I could catch up to Yamanaka which we did in the last few laps, then it was a great battle. I knew he was good on the brakes into the last corner but he pushed it too hard on the last lap and went wide. As all of us went for the line I was stuck in a sandwich and had to get my elbows out to keep some space.”
Carrasco didn’t see it quite the same way. “Salač came across and hit me,” exclaimed the 15-year-old Spaniard. “It had been a good battle, a very fast race. The Öncü brothers were just too fast today but we were having a good fight for the podium when we caught Yamanaka but what he (Salač) did out of the last corner wasn’t correct.”
Battle to the line
Artigas, also a 15-year-old Spaniard, was also in the middle of the last corner sort out, much happier than he had been with a more distant seventh on Saturday. “Yes it was a much better race, it was very hard but I enjoyed it. The bike wasn’t right yesterday so we made the front harder and I could brake and turn in much better so the race was a lot more fun. On the last lap it was pretty crazy but it was a good race.”
Japanese 16-year-old Yamanaka blamed no one for missing the podium after going into the last corner third. “That was my big mistake, just too fast and I couldn’t get out of the corner. It was a good race though, I chased after the Öncüs but then the rear tyre was wearing and started to slide and I slowed down too much so the others caught me. I fought back and should have been on the podium like yesterday but then made the mistake.”