Race 2 Report: Rookies Cup
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Jakub Kornfeil got the best on an intense 5 man battle to take his 3rd race victory of the season and the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup by 2 points. The 16 year old Czech had to fight all the way with arch rival Sturla Fagerhaug but when the 17 year old Norwegian came together with 15 year old Japanese Daijiro Hiura with three corners to go his chance of battling with Kornfeil across the line disappeared.
The 13 lap race closed out the Cardion AB Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at Brno. Fagerhaug picked up second place both in the race and the Cup and Californian 15 year old Jake Gagne an excellent third in the race and 6th in the Cup. Hiura crossed the line 4th to hold on to his 3rd in the points table.
While the rest talked about what might have been Kornfeil enjoyed his win. "I knew that Sturla was behind me all the way, I looked back and saw it was four riders not 10 like yesterday so I was happy about that. I just rode as hard as I could and even at the last corner I expected Sturla to come past but I guess he wasn’t as close as I thought and I crossed the line on my own."
"It was a hard weekend, there were so many interviews and things to do leading up to yesterdays race that I was feeling the pressure and I found yesterday’s race very tough. Today it seemed easier, less interviews, less friends pushing me and so less pressure. I could ride my race today and I am just so happy to take the Rookies Cup, so happy."
An obviously terribly disappointed Fagerhaug summed it all up. "It was a great race and congratulations to Jakub, he rode very well. I was hit in the third to last corner so I didn’t have the chance to pass him at the line. I thought I was going to be able to win before that happened. I have to blame myself though I had such a big lead in the points half way through and made some mistakes. It’s been a great year though and I still have a couple of GP wild-card rides to look forward too."
Gagne had done his share of leading during the race but admitted that the Cup battle played a part in his thinking on the final lap. "It was a great race, a lot of fun and I sure wanted to win it if I could but they were all going fast and there wasn’t the chance on the last lap. I knew those guys were battling for the Cup and I wasn’t going to do something stupid."
The new lap record went to Hiura but he was 4th across the line. "I enjoyed the race but I’m disappointed not to be on the podium. It all happened on the last lap and I was so fixed on passing the riders in front I was a bit too aggressive and that wasn’t good. I have to congratulate Jakub on his great race today. He was ready to win it and so determined. When I passed him he would pass me straight back at the next corner he had the win in his heart."
A fine ride to 5th by 16 year old South African Mathew Scholtz who had thoughts of a higher place finish. "I was on the back of the group, at times I was having to work hard to stay there but sometimes it was easier and I was looking after my tyres planning to make a move on the last lap. What spoilt was the tight chicane at the bottom of the final climb on the second to last lap. I lost the front and that really messed up my drive up the hill so I started the last lap just too far behind them to do anything about it."
Saturday’s 16 year old winner Florian Marino was disappointed with his 7th place behind fellow Frenchman Nelson Major. "I got a good start but after that I just couldn’t find the rhythm and the guys got away from me. I just wasn’t riding as well as yesterday, I could feel that my throttle control just wasn’t quite right and I wasn’t getting the drive off the corners."
Nico Thöni and Alejandro Pardo had a nasty crash on lap one and while the 14 year old Austrian immediately walked away, Pardo, who had been a brilliant 3rd on Saturday took some time before he too emerged uninjured. Hayden Gillim’s bike was damaged in the incident and though he continued he was later forced to retire with broken seat. Alex Kristiansson fell unhurt and Taylor Mackenzie stopped with technical problems.