American Jake Gagne rode across the line in second place on the Misano circuit in San Marino on Saturday to steal the 2010 Red Bull Rookies Cup motorcycle racing title glory from rival Danny Kent of Britain who succeeded in winning the final race in the Red Bull 2010 GP series.
Only Gagne and Kent were in the running for the title going into the final motorcycle race. The two young riders put on a masterful show of riding and tactical skills as they went into the final round separated by 11 points.
Gagne of California was in the championship lead and Kent, who took the all-or-nothing approach and landed on pole for the final scrap knew his only chance was to win the race.
In a typical Red Bull Rookies dogfight, Danny did cross the line in first place but he needed Jake to place no better than third and the Californian slipped into second going into the final curve.
Kent had gone out hard and controlled the motorcycle race well, slowing down the pace from time to time to ensure that the leading bunch remained intact.
He knew there were many of the other riders looking to go out in a high note and on the podium and he hoped that this would make it harder for Gagne to finish up the order. But Gagne too had his tactics well under control.
Although he started back at 10th on the grid after having some problems in qualifying, he had already rocketed into fourth place before the riders had completed one lap. He then stuck with the front runners, sitting at third, fourth and even second as the race progressed.
Then just going into the final corner he made his move. He slipped into second place leaving no space for anyone to overtake him and coasted over the line knowing the title was his.
Gagne finishes the season with four victories from the nine race series and saw a significant improvement in form as the season progressed.
Jake Gagne says: “I realized what he (Kent) was trying to do. “He’s clever and he needed to try and get the other guys between us. I gust kept my head down and knew that as long as I was close to him I had a good chance of getting the points I needed.”
It was always going to be hard for the 16-year old Briton to stop Gagne in the last race but he made a superb effort and almost pulled it off. He can be well satisfied with his second place finish.
Although he won only one race (the season opener in Jerez, Spain) he was a model of consistency and was on the podium on no less than seven times.
Danny Kent says: “I knew that I needed to get some other guys between us, just 2 was enough so I played it every way I could but Jake was just too good today and all credit to him he rode a great race. I did everything that I could. I won the race but it wasn’t enough. It’s been a great season with a lot of great battles.”
Red Bull Rookies all rider identical KTM 125 machines. The series is designed as a stepping stone to a fully-fledged racing career and a major vehicle for grooming the road racing champions of tomorrow.
Final Motorcycle Race Classification
1. Danny Kent (GBR) 30 minutes 59.551 seconds (139.082)
2. Jacob Gagne (USA) +0.060
3. Daijiro Hiura (JPN) +0.401
4. Kevin Calia (ITA) +0.577
5. Daniel Ruiz (ESP) +1.006
6. Harry Stafford (GBR) +1.055
7. Alessio Cappella (ITA) +1.363
8. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) +2.189
9. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +2.258
10. Alan Techer (FRA) +2.753
Final Cup Motorcycle Championship Standings
1. Jacob Gagne (USA) 170 points
2. Danny Kent (GBR) 164
3. Daijiro Hiura (JPN) 125
4. Daniel Ruiz (ESP) 115
5. Brad Binder (RSA) 109
6. Kevin Calia (ITA) 97
7. Harry Stafford (GBR) 79
8. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) 56
9. Alessio Cappella (ITA) 53
10. Alexander Kristiansson (SWE) 52