Red Bull Rookies: Brno preview
Who can stop Aleix Viu? That’s the question as the 15-year-old Spaniard led 33 of 34 laps at the Red Bull Ring this past weekend. Just a few days to ponder that after the two thrilling Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races in Austria for the 24 Rookies and their hard working mechanics who travel 300km north to the Czech Republic for this weekend’s Grand Prix in Brno.
The great thing is that the workload is lighter than it might have been after a record breaking, single minor accident through three days of KTM RC 250 R track action on the beautiful circuit on the slopes above Spielberg. Now for the greater elevation changes and more tortuous turns of Brno with just five races remaining in the tenth running of the Rookies Cup.
Heading the points as he has since Race 2 in Jerez is 15-year-old Japanese Ayumu Sasaki who already has two wins this year and has only been off the podium once, when fourth in Race 2 at Assen. Viu shared the points lead with him after that first weekend in Spain but hated the wet in Assen and slid off in Race 1. A cautious ride to 10th by Viu in Race 2 brought in some points but a double win by Raúl Fernández saw the 15-year-old fellow Spaniard take up the chase of Sasaki, leaving Viu third.
Since then Viu has been the man on a mission, the leader of most laps in Germany after heading both Free Practice sessions and only losing Pole to Sasaki by less than a tenth. He was then in front all the way in Austria only losing the win in Race 1 when penalised for exceeding track limits.
So the leading trio, Sasaki (155 points), Viu (132) and Fernández (122) have two wins each. Marc Garcia, the 16-year-old Spaniard lies fourth on 100 after his win in Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring and Kaito Toba, the 16-year-old Japanese is fifth with a win in Race 2 at the Sachsenring and 70 points. There are still 125 points to be won.
Fernández is well aware that the run of 4th, 5th and 7th from the last three races has got to be bettered and says that this will happen in Brno where he first stood on the podium last year with a superb third in Race 1. Of course weather could be a factor, it’s mid summer but that is no guarantee and rain could swing things very much towards Fernández.
The leading trio are unlikely to have things their own way this coming weekend. Patrik Pulkkinen, Kevin Orgis and Filip Salač all showed in Austria that they can mix it at the front and for Salač it is a home GP and the 14-year-old has a little experience there having contested the Moriwaki Junior Cup.
Race 1 is at 16.30 CET on Saturday August 20th with Race 2 on Sunday at 15.30.
The races can be seen live on TV channels around the globe and on www.redbull.tv with the show starting 10 minutes before the race.
Source: Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup