Bo Bendsneyder leads the 24 strong Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup squad into the two races at Brno, half way through the 13 race season. The sixteen-year-old Dutchman won the opening five races of the season but incredibly only heads the table by 16 points after falling at the final turn in Germany.
His nemesis at the Sachsenring was Fabio Di Giannantonio who took his first victory to back up a string of second places, a fifth and a fourth that has him second in the table. With 25 points on offer for victory in each of the seven remaining races this season, it is not only the 16-year-old Italian who can pressure Bendsneyder.
Garcia is the man
Marc Garcia is certainly hitting his best form as the 15-year-old Spaniard demonstrated by being the only rider with a double podium at the Sachsenring and he stands third in the points. He scored a fifth last year in the Czech Republic. Bendsneyder did not have a good weekend last year, he was only just back from injury and though he managed 13th in Race 1 he sat out Race 2.
The rising star 12 months ago was Di Giannantonio with a fabulous second in Race 2. He will certainly fancy his chances of two more top scoring races this coming weekend especially as all the top names from last season progressed to other series. Di Giannantonio, Bendsneyder and Garcia have become the 'old hands' but will not have things their own way.
Gutierrez, Boulom and Simpson
Oscar Gutierrez turned 16 just after the Sachsenring but the Spaniard should have had more to celebrate, a great pole position only produced a fifth in Race 1 after an off track excursion but Race 2 was worse, ruined by a warm up lap crash. He is fourth though in the points and already has a second and two thirds to his name.
Enzo Boulom, the 18-year-old Frenchman has taken a big step forward this year, he is fifth in the points and if he finds the right bike setting will be a threat in Brno. Olly Simpson shook off the effects of his Assen dislocated shoulder in Germany and has the skills to improve on his sixth place in the title chase.
7th to 11th in the Cup table are all first year Rookies, Kaito Toba, Ayumu Sasaki, Aleix Viu, Raul Fernandez and Rufino Florido. The two Japanese, Toba who is 15 and Sasaki, 14 were both on the podium in Germany, they learn quickly and will make the best of the opportunity. The Spaniards, Viu 14, Fernandez 14 and Florido 15 have yet to make it to the podium.
Viu and Fernandez are consistent point scorers but Florido has a fourth from Race 2 in Jerez and was in the pack at the front in Germany but fell in both races. He should learn from those mistakes and be a threat to the established stars in Brno.
This weekend's Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world with Race 1 on Saturday at 16.30 and Race 2 on Sunday at 15.30, the broadcasts begin 10 minutes before race start.