Piqueras takes split second Rookies Portimão double
Angel Piqueras took an incredible second Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup win by just 0.002 seconds over fellow Spaniard Marcos Ruda in a blanket Portimão finish. Malaysian Hakim Danish was 0.015 seconds back in third 0.001 ahead of Ireland’s Casey O’Gorman.
Saturday’s winner Piqueras was only 4th through the final flat-out downhill left-hander but the 16-year-old pulled out of the 3 KTM slipstream to flash across the line a tyre’s width ahead.
Ruda led through that final turn but the 18-year-old had 15-year-old O’Gorman on his tail and looking the likely winner after a fabulous 14 laps.
By half distance, Màximo Quiles had broken away into a one-second lead that no one could close. The 15-year-old Spaniard then slid off with just 4 laps to go and could only remount and finish 11th. He had been pushed out of Race 1 on Saturday.
Angel Piqueras winning a mystery
“I don’t know how I won that,” he grinned. “I’ll have to look at the replay. On the last lap, I was 4th and didn’t think it was possible.”
“The track is cold this morning, less grip and that changed things, the lap times were faster than yesterday but that is because we had no wind today.”
“Maximo was pushing a lot, he got away and it was not easy to catch him, I don’t know, I was trying, perhaps we could have caught him over the last laps, I don’t know, we were all trying.”
Marcos Ruda from P19 to P2
“What an amazing race, I have no words to describe it. I was back in 19th on the grid, I got a good start and I just pushed and pushed all the way. Maximo was very fast and he got away from us.”
“I got in front at the end and hoped I had enough to win, I knew it was so close at the line and none of us knew who was first. I have to thank everyone who has supported me because last year in Rookies Cup was a tough first season but now I am so happy.”
Hakim Danish a great start to his Cup career
I am so happy with my first podium in Rookies Cup. In the race I felt really good with the bike, we worked hard this weekend and found a good setting. So thanks to everyone supporting me.”
“I pushed to stay in the front group, In the end, I made some good overtakes and got in position to battle at the front. I was trying to win but on the last lap I made a mistake, the wrong gear in turn 5 and I lost the chance. I had to push hard to get back close to the front and on the podium.”
Casey O’Gorman should have won
“I thought I had it, I put myself in the position to be 2nd and have Ruda’s slipstream out of the last corner, Piqueras and Danish came from nowhere.”“It was .001 to the podium…. but there is always the next one.”
Rico Salmela missing grip
“At the start of the race I was very strong, but by the end of the race I was struggling a bit with the grip of the rear tyre. It was really difficult to get the drive to get the overtakes on corner exit.”
“Still I’m quite happy… I want more but still, I am happy and we continue learning and go on to Jerez.”
Màximo Quiles fastest but…
“The race was very good, I was fast, I opened up a gap. The only thing was that at 4 laps to go I lost the front in turn 5. I tried to pick up the bike as quick as I could and finished P11.”
“In the last 5 laps, I was talking to myself and telling myself to relax in this corner because I crashed 3 times here. I was talking talking and I think I talked myself into it.”
“Still I am happy because I was the fastest and I will come back in Jerez.”