Sissis Takes Race 2 in Assen

red_bull_rookies_at_assenArthur Sissis, the 16 year old Australian turned the tables on 14 year old Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri with a fine last corner win to claim his third victory of this year’s Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Florian Alt, the 15 year old German, took a superb 3rd as typical Assen weather once again played a major part in the result of the Dutch TT round.

Looming black clouds and a sprinkling of rain prompting a start on wet tyres although the track was only damp. Pole man James Flitcroft shot into an early lead but from the 4th row of the grid Sissis was up the inside and into 2nd place at the first corner. Baldassarri was there as well and both had passed 15 year old Briton Flitcroft before the end of the first lap.

The rain held off and the drying track soon started to shred the tyres as Flitcroft went with Baldassarri and Sissis, pulling away from the pack. The pace was getting quicker and quicker, both with the drying track and the riders getting used to the grip limits of the rain tyres in the unusual circumstances.

Flitcroft was dropped by the Sissis and Baldassarri and started to be overhauled by what built into an 8 man battle for 4th place. Coming through that pack from his 18th place start was Alt. His impressive progress became stunning as he broke clear of the pack on lap 5 and set his sights on Flitcroft.

Alt became the fastest man on the track, he shot past Flitcroft on lap 7 and though he was 4 seconds behind the leaders he was clearly running a pace that would see him battling for the lead well before the end of the 14 lap race.

By lap 10 he was with them and his speed carried him straight past and into the lead. That was the end of the faster laps as everyone’s tyres were shredded. Sissis and Baldassarri responded to Alt’s attack and got back in front of the young German. By the last lap the Australian and the Italian had got enough of an advantage to make it fight between them for the win.

“My heart was racing so much on the last lap,” said Sissis. “It was such a great race, I’d tried to get away but Lorenzo was always there, after about 4 laps the tyres were shredded.. Then I couldn’t believe it when Alt passed us both and that made it more complicated. We got away from him but I knew that Lorenzo was the big problem. He was in front on the last lap, I’d got it wrong yesterday so I went the other side and passed him on the brakes going down to the chicane, I didn’t know if the front was going to hold up on the brakes, I think my heart stopped, I just explain the feeling going into the last corner.”

The front held up but the rear slid and that sealed the win for Sissis as Baldassarri was forced to back off fractionally as Sissis had a small slide right in front of him. Alt was a superb 3rd and thrilled with his first podium. “I really had great confidence in the tyres in these conditions and I thought I could do a great race. It was hard work to come from 18th but when I got away from the pack and could see the leaders I just went for it, I gave it full gas, I was so determined.”

“I had used the tyres so hard catching them that they were completely destroyed at the end,” explained Alt. “The bike was sliding so much I realised that 3rd place was a good result today and better than crashing trying too hard on the last lap.”

Baldassarri as usual made no excuses. “It was another great race, a lot of fun. I was in front on the last lap but Sissis was later on the brakes coming down to the last corner, he did a great job. Still I enjoyed this weekend and I am looking forward to my home race at Mugello next week.”

Disaster overtook Flitcroft at that final turn as he lost the front on the brakes taking out Brad Binder and Joakim Niemi from the middle of that 4th place pack. It was Alan Techer who took 4th from Xavi Pinsach, Tomas Vavrous, Scott Deroue and Stefano Valtulini.

Sissis now has a 5 point advantage over Baldassarri with 6 races remaining in the season. There is a single Rookies Cup race at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in a week’s time on Saturday June 2nd at 16.30 CET.

Race 2 Classification

1. Arthur Sissis (AUS) 27 minutes 05.184 seconds
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +0.222
3. Florian Alt (GER) +1.425
4. Alan Techer (FRA) +7.081
5. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +7.393
6. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) Red +7.609
7. Scott Deroue (NED) +05 8.703
8. Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +8.959
9. Philipp Oettl (GER) +10.542
10. Andrea Migno (ITA) +18.203

[Press Release Courtesy of Red Bull]

Red Bull Rookies: Baldassarri Untouchable at Silverstone

Baldassarri_at_silverstoneLorenzo Baldassarri destroyed the opposition to win a soaking wet and freezing cold Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Silverstone on Sunday. The 14 year old Italian shot off into the lead and though chased by yesterday’s winner, 15 year old Austrian Lukas Trautmann, he was never headed and won by 11 seconds.

Third man home was 16 year old Frenchman Alan Techer who started from pole position and had great battle for third with 17 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous that went in his favour when Vavrous crashed on lap 9. He rejoined the race in 7th and had got back up to 6th when he slid off again but still remounted to finally finish 10th.

Ivo Lopes, the 14 year old Portuguese who was 2nd on Saturday had a lonely ride into 4th place. He was well clear of a great battle between Javier Pinsach and Stefano Valtulini that went to the 15 year old Spaniard when Valtulini, the 14 year old Italian, made a mistake on the last lap and lost 4 seconds.

Cup leader Arthur Sissis, the 15 year old Australian, saw his points lead slashed to 5 as he crossed the line 6th after an intense struggle with 14 year old Spaniard Josep Garcia who had got in front of Sissis but fell just before the finish. The ex motocrosser was taken to the medical centre and diagnosed with a broken right collarbone.

“My worst weekend in 3 years of Rookies Cup,” said Sissis. “I had no feeling at all, I didn’t feel good, the bike didn’t feel good, just 5 points lead in the Cup, forget the weekend and move on,” He concluded.

Obviously Baldassarri had a very different reaction. “I am very happy, it was a great race, I made a good start and I immediately found a good feeling. I was very comfortable going at that speed and I only had a slide on the first lap when I ran on the grass, after that everything was OK. I looked behind and could see Lukas there but I was not worried, I was getting cold and wet but I knew I could win if I didn’t make any mistakes.”

Trautmann accepted that 2nd was not a bad way to end the weekend after yesterday’s victory. “The start was good and when I saw Lorenzo have his big slide on the first lap I was able to catch him. But that was also a warning about how easy it was to make a mistake in these slippery conditions and I really didn’t want to make a mistake. He was so fast in a couple of sections that I realised it was not possible to go with him and I was happy with second. I watched my pit board that my father was showing and when it showed that I was being caught a little I increased speed and I could see it only varied up and down by a few tenths so that was OK.”

Techer had been disappointed with 6th on Saturday and was thrilled to get on the podium. “I enjoyed that race much more, we made some changes to the bike after the race yesterday and I had much better feeling. It was a fun race with Tomas and when he went I was alone and happy just to get on the podium.”

Sissis wasn’t the only one who wants to forget the weekend, Brad Binder had the same thought. “I even had a crash going out on the sighting lap as Philipp Oettl highsided in front of us. I banged my head on the barrier and hurt my hand which was painful all race. I got a great start though and was going for it, feeling great… until I crashed. I came into the pits to have the handlebars straightened and then did a few more laps but something was jamming and I had to stop again,” concluded the 15 year old South African who had been on pole in Jerez and Estoril, had a 2nd and a 1st at those 2 rounds but has now slipped to 7th in the title chase only gaining a single point this weekend.

With 6 of the 14 races run there are many points still to claim, the first are on offer in 2 weeks at Assen on June 24th and 25th.

Race 2 Results

1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) 33 minutes 49.359 seconds
2. Lukas Trautmann (AUT) +11.371
3. Alan Techer (FRA) +19.820
4. Ivo Lopes (POR) +42.599
5. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +49.188
6. Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +53.719
7. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +1’09.500
8. Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +1’26.608
9. Max Enderlein (GER) +1’33.716
10. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +1’56.474

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Red Bull Media]