Trautman takes first win at wet Silverstone
The rain delayed Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Silverstone turned out to be sensational as Austrian 15 year old Lukas Trautmann led a 5 man pack across the line. Chasing him home was Portuguese 14 year old Ivo Lopes ahead of Kevin Argino, the 14 year old Italian.
A rain shower as the grid lined up for the start demanded a delay and a change to wet tyres but the sun was coming out as the race then started. Lorenzo Baldassarri, the 14 year old Italian, jumped into a strong lead that he had turned into a 3 second advantage at the end of lap one.
As he raced away it was pole man Alan Techer, the 16 year old Frenchman, who held second ahead of Trautmann. Baldassarri looked in a class of his own as he stretched away and it really seemed as though everyone else was racing for second.
With the sun out dry patches began to appear and also in a few places a dry line. The lap times came down with every lap and it was suddenly obvious that Baldassarri was not the quickest man on the track by a long way. Much faster was Hafiq Azmi, the 14 year old Malaysian. He had not made a great start but he caught the group fighting for second and energised them into a very quick pack.
They closed rapidly on Baldassarri even though they were trading places all the time, Azmi, Trautmann, Lopes and Argino, dropping Techer as they went.
With 2 laps to go it was anyone’s race, Azmi had been the first to pass Baldassarri but couldn’t get away, the complete top 5 order seemed to reverse several times a lap. Coming down the long Hangar Straight on the last lap it was literally 5 abreast spread out across the wide tarmac. Last to brake was Lopes but he ran wide and it was Trautmann who came through.
The Austrian had a perfect exit and with just the final few corners he had enough of an advantaged to be unchallengeable. “It was a really great race, so much fun,” he grinned. “Also so difficult, tricky conditions that changed all the time. At the start it was all wet but then there started to be a few dry patches and in some corners a dry line. Then you had to be so careful if you got off the dry line.”
“On the last lap I never imagined it was possible to win, I was in front but then four guys passed me down the straight and I thought, ‘no it can’t end like this,’ into the corner off the straight I just braked so late and managed to come out in front. Incredible, I can’t believe it.”
Lopes was almost as pleased with 2nd. “Such a great race, I tried everything to win but off the long straight I just had a little slide coming through the corner and lost the drive, still it was so much fun.”
Argino seemed shocked to be on the podium. “A very good race, I’m very happy, it is a big surprise, I didn’t expect it. I did not get a good start but I was feeling good and fought back so managed to get on the podium.”
Baldassarri was philosophical about 4th. “I felt good from the start and was comfortable at my speed. I didn’t realise how much the track was improving though and was too slow mid race. The end was fun though and I was at the front on the last lap but got pushed wide so it wasn’t possible to win, never mind we have another chance tomorrow.”
Less pleased was Azmi who finished 5th. “Another terrible start but then it went OK and I felt good, I didn’t want to push too hard, I’ve had too many crashes this year, I thought I could get on the podium though, I’m disappointed.”
Very subdued were usual front runners Arthur Sissis, 9th and Brad Binder 15th. They discussed their frustration. “That was the worst race I’ve ever had,” said Sissis. “I hate these conditions,” added Binder. “I either want it dry or really wet.” But that comment didn’t make Sissis feel any better. “You know we are the experienced ones, we should be showing these young guys how to do it,” concluded the 15 year old Australian who still leads the Cup from Baldassarri, Techer and Trautmann.
There is a second race on Sunday that can be seen on TV stations around the world and live by webcast on www.redbull.tv with the show starting at 16.50 CET.
Race 1 Classification
1. Lukas Trautmann (AUT) 31 minutes 36.559 seconds
2. Ivo Lopes (POR) +0.324
3. Kevin Argino (ITA) +0.658
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +0.708
5. Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +0.774
6. Alan Techer (FRA) +21.489
7. Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +46.868
8. Florian Alt (GER) +47.581
9. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +48.095
10. Josep Garcia (ESP) +56.493