Roberts charges through field to win in rain-interrupted first race

 In News, Red Bull Rookies

Rain split Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Brno was won by American 14 year old American Joe Roberts. The Cardion ab Czech Grand Prix event started in the dry but rain forced it to be stopped after 6 laps. It was then restarted for a 5 lap dash that Roberts won from 16 year old Australian Arthur Sissis with 18 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous 3rd.

The drama of Roberts’ victory could not be bettered, he took the lead on the soaking wet track on lap 3 and charged away. It was only Sissis that could go with him and at the final left right section before the finish Sissis passed for the lead only to go wide allowing Roberts to tuck inside and win.

With 2nd, Sissis takes the Cup lead from Baldassarri by 4 points as the Italian 15 year old struggled at the back of the lead group and could only claim 6th at the flag. It might have been worse but Lukas Trautmann, the 15 year old Austrian and 15 year old Briton James Flitcroft who had both led the race early on crashed together with just a few corners to go.

It was not only Roberts’ first podium in Rookies Cup but it turned the weekend around for him completely. “I was enjoying the track but qualifying didn’t go that well and I was only 17th on the grid. The first race, I don’t even want to think about it, I got passed and couldn’t get into a rhythm, I was last. That put me at the back of the grid for the restart. I wasn’t happy that it rained but then on the sighting lap I realised that there was quite a lot of grip. I just had to go for it, I didn’t want to be last any more.”

“I was at the back of the grid but I just went past everyone at the first corner, I think I was about 6th coming out. Then I just kept passing guys until I was 2nd and behind James. Then he ran wide and that was it I just kept going. Arthur passed me at the last corner but as I saw him go wide I had the chance to cut it tight and go for the line.”

“We’ve got another race tomorrow, we’ve had so many wet races this year and all the time I’ve been wanting it to be dry all year, now I guess I am hoping for another wet race,” Roberts concluded with his classic broad grin.

Sissis was not thrilled to be 2nd but much happier when he heard that he had the Cup lead back. “I couldn’t believe the way that Joe went, he was so fast. I didn’t think that I could go with him but I tried. I managed just to catch him at the last corner but then went wide, good on him, it was a great ride.”

Vavrous had been feeling the pressure of racing at home and was thrilled to get on the podium. “It was a big battle both in the dry race and in the rain. Right up to the last lap in the rain we were fighting for 3rd and I just managed to get it, we had a lot of fun, just like always in Rookies Cup.”

Baldassarri was naturally disappointed with the day. “In the first race the bike seemed OK, the suspension was working well but I just couldn’t pass anyone out of the slipstream, they seemed to be able to get by me. In the wet race it was the same, I just struggled to overtake. Then on the last lap James and Lukas crashed in front of me, I had to brake and that was it.”

It is now only Sissis and Baldassarri that can win the Cup, there are two races remaining, the first being on Sunday at 15.30 CET. It can be seen on TV in many countries and is webcast live on www.redbull.tv with the show beginning 10 minutes before race start.

Race Classification
1.Joe Roberts (USA) 12 minutes 41.800 seconds
2.Arthur Sissis (AUS) +0.030
3.Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +1.508
4.Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +1.560
5.Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +3.292
6.Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +4.662
7.Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +7.265
8.Javier Orellana (GBR) +9.453
9.Philipp Oettl (GER) +13.197
10. Kevin Argino (ITA) +13.327

Source: Red Bull Rookies

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