Sissis continues excellent preseason form, Espana third-fastest on wet Estoril track

 In Red Bull Rookies

The third and final day of testing at Estoril for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup concluded with a damp and cool Monday. The fastest times remained from Saturday’s session and while there were a number of fallers in the slippery conditions there were no injuries.

There were no fast times to be had in the difficult conditions but quickest again, as he was in the dry on Saturday, was Australian Arthur Sissis. The 15 year old was ahead of South African 15 year old Brad Binder and 13 year old Spaniard Aaron Espana, the fastest of the newcomers.

This is his 3rd Rookies Cup season but Sissis certainly doesn’t think of himself as a road race veteran. “I’ve learnt a lot these three days, especially about riding in the wet. I’ve only ridden a few wet races and now I think I know a lot more but I am still finding out more every time I go out. It is hard to know just how fast I can go into the corners in the wet, plus it is changing all the time so it’s not easy.”

Espana has done most of his racing near his home in Vidreres, Girona, Spain so had a great deal to get used to. “It was a good test, I haven’t had much experience in the rain and I had never been to Estoril before so I learnt a lot. I love the bike, it is fast and easy to ride and I had a lot of fun on the track. Only the chicane I found very difficult. I knew that the level of the Rookies Cup is very high and I didn’t expect to be running near the front so after being 8th fastest in the dry I am happy with the way things went. I am really looking forward to Jerez and even though I have never ridden there I will be trying for a top 10 result.”

Another of the quick newcomers was Willi Albert, the 13 year old German who was 8th fastest for the damp day. “I have learnt so much in these three days, it has been a lot of fun. Before coming here I had just ridden Metrakit bikes, mostly an 80cc with just 20hp, then I did a few tests and a race on a PreGP 125 but this is a real GP 125, very different. I love it so much, what a great bike. Now we have experience in all the conditions from wet to dry so I can’t wait for the racing to start.”

For some, like 14 year old Englishman James Flitcroft who was 10th fastest, his 2nd Rookies year seems like a fresh start. “I’m 8 or 9kg heavier than I was this time last year and what a difference that makes. I am loving riding the bike now. I am also taller and I’ve been working on my physical training a lot in the off season so I am stronger and can do a lot more with the bike. I am happier with my riding and the bike but we can still improve the set-up. Especially accelerating out of the corners it is moving around more than it should. Of course it is damp and there are slippery patches but I still think we can improve the bike.”

Having as much fun as anyone was Joe Roberts, the 13 year old American newcomer who was 22nd fastest as he learnt to cope with the wet. “I really had no idea what to expect coming here. Ever since the Selection Event I have been wondering what it would be like and I am certainly not disappointed. The bike is great, a lot faster and better handling than the Honda I have at home, I love riding it. I’ve only done one race in the rain so I found it pretty difficult here in the wet and every lap and every corner seemed to be different as it got wetter and dryer through the day. I was always wondering coming into the corner how much grip there would be. Now that I know what to expect I am looking forward to Jerez even more. I have done a lot of laps on my X-Box and I know the bike now so I am looking forward to the race and I want to do good.”

The first 2 races of the 2011 Rookies Cup season are on the Saturday and Sunday of the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on April 2nd and 3rd.

Combined classification, day 3
1. Arthur Sissis (AUS) 2 minutes 00.251 seconds
2. Brad Binder (RSA) 2 minutes 00.368 seconds
3. Aaron Espana (ESP) 2 minutes 00.393 seconds
4. Florian Alt (GER) 2 minutes 00.500 seconds
5. Alan Techer (FRA) 2 minutes 00.598 seconds
6. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) 2 minutes 00.617 seconds
7. Andrea Migno (ITA) 2 minutes 00.679 seconds
8. Willi Albert (GER) 2 minutes 00.741 seconds
9. Javier Orellana (GBR) 2 minutes 00.814 seconds
10. James Flitcroft (GBR) 2 minutes 01.010 seconds
11. Philipp Oettl (GER) 2 minutes 01.058 seconds
12. Max Enderlein (GER) 2 minutes 01.376 seconds
13. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) 2 minutes 01.475 seconds
14. Lukas Trautmann (AUT) 2 minutes 01.501 seconds
15. Hafiq Azmi (MAS) 2 minutes 01.538 seconds
16. Stefano Valtulini (ITA) 2 minutes 02.000 seconds
17. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) 2 minutes 02.502 seconds
18. Ivo Lopes (POR) 2 minutes 02.597 seconds
19. Deni Cudic (GER) 2 minutes 02.942 seconds
20. Kyle Ryde (GBR) 2 minutes 03.883 seconds
21. Joakim Niemi (FIN) 2 minutes 05.199 seconds
22. Joe Roberts (USA) 2 minutes 06.922 seconds
23. Josep Garcia (ESP) 2 minutes 07.123 seconds
24. Scott Deroue (NED) 2 minutes 07.203 seconds
25. Kevin Argino (ITA) no time

Source: Red Bull Rookies Cup

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