Fabio Di Giannantonio scored a fabulous victory in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 2 at the Sachsenring. The 16-year-old Italian went inside championship leader Bo Bendsneyder at the last corner and the 16-year-old Dutchman slid off fighting for his sixth straight win.
The pair had opened up an 11 second advantage over their rivals with their private battle and after a run of superb second places this time Di Giannantonio picked up the win and cut Bendsneyder's points advantage to just 16 with seven races still remaining.
All to play for
"It has made a huge difference to the championship," enthused Di Giannantonio. "I am going to fight Bo all the way now. It is so great to stand here on the podium as a winner after fighting so hard. It all came down to the last lap and I planned to pass him at the last corner, I had the same plan yesterday but then we touched at the first corner and I couldn't do it."
Bendsneyder made no excuses. "I just braked too hard and the front folded under. We had a great battle and the bike was quite good, not perfect, just like yesterday and we didn't change anything. Towards the end it was sliding quite a bit on the left and then at the last corner I was just too late and too hard on the brakes."
Garcia and Toba
15-year-old Spaniard Marc Garcia added second to his fine third from Saturday with Japanese 15-year-old Kaito Toba completing the rostrum. "A hard race," explained Garcia. "It was very close and we were swapping places at every corner. The bike was good and I just had give it everything on the last lap."
"Yes," agreed Toba. "It was a very tough race, this is not an easy track to learn but finally I was really enjoying it and we had a very good race. I know that I still need to improve and we have more new tracks to learn and I want to do even more at Brno."
Nothing from pole
Oscar Gutierrez invariably wears a broad smile but he struggled to do so after sliding off on the warm up lap. "I was just getting the tyres up to temperature but I guess the right was still cold and it slid away so quickly I couldn't catch it," he explained the 15-year-old Spaniard later. Furious that his pole position had come to nothing.
Another cheerful soul, Olly Simpson, was not that exuberant after the race either despite finishing 5th from 9th on the grid. The 17-year-old Australian had made a lightning start from that third row, determined to show that his confidence had returned following the dislocated shoulder he sustained in Assen. "I had got away from Garcia in the middle of the race but then missed a gear, got it all wrong and was back in that group," he explained.
Ayumu Sasaki was also less than thrilled. "I fell on the first lap, I think the tyres were not warm enough," admitted the 14-year-old Japanese who had taken such a superb second in Race 1.
He has another chance of the podium when the season continues in Brno, Czech Republic on August 15th and 16th.