Red Bull Rookies: Sasaki takes the win at Misano
The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup action boiled over in Misano and Ayumu Sasaki took home the 25 points ahead of Aleix Viu and Kaito Toba. That was the order on the podium but not crossing the line.
Six KTM RC 250 Rs battled, race long, for the lead and it was 15-year-old Spaniard Viu who took the chequered flag in front of Toba, the 16-year-old Japanese and Rufino Florido, the 16-year-old Spaniard.
The trio, Viu, Toba and Florido, were all then penalised a place for exceeding track limits by MotoGP Race Direction. Thus Sasaki, the 15-year-old Japanese who had crossed the line fourth, was promoted to winner.
It was Viu who did most of the leading, as he has in other races, and he crossed the line first or second on each of the 17 laps. Around him the positions changed at every turn with 15-year-old Raúl Fernández also having plenty of time in front.
“I just planned to do like the other races, lead every lap including the last one,” explained an unusually subdued Viu who also lost the win in Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring for the same reason. “I tried to get away but it wasn’t possible and later in the race I was sliding a lot on the rear through the left handers. Of course I am not happy to lose the win because of the penalty and I need to talk to Race Direction to understand why. Then I have to just think of Aragon and winning the Cup there.”
Sasaki actually decided not to cross the line first. “I started with the idea of winning but I changed my mind half way through the race. I realised that it was all so crazy that if I tried to win I would probably crash. So I was happy to race with Rory (Skinner) and Florido as they were being more sensible and it was OK to be fifth.”
A clearly very emotional Sasaki was tearful in parc fermé and not a happy winner. “It wasn’t a fair race for me and it also wasn’t a fair result for the other guys. That isn’t how it should be. Now I just have to focus on Aragon, on winning there and winning the Cup.”
Toba was also subdued after race. “It was a bit crazy, we were all racing very hard and I know we all ran off the track a few times, everyone did. I was pushing to win and I crossed the line second. I was penalised one place, I don’t know about that.”
Florido thought he would be on the third step but his penalty left him fourth, a tough pill to swallow after he had worked very hard to catch the lead group from P8 on the grid. “I spent a lot of energy to catch up, it was very hard. Then I told myself to settle down and wait for the end.”
“On the second to last lap I overtook Rory and Sasaki, then tried to pass Toba on the last lap but Fernández and Viu touched. I passed Raúl and I had to go over the line a little, everyone was and I really thought I should have been on the podium, I really thought I might have won it.”
Sasaki now has a 31 point lead over Viu with Fernández a further 15 behind and still with a mathematical chance of Cup glory. The final two races of the tenth Rookies Cup season are at Aragon on September 24th and 25th.
Source: Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup