And eight man battle for the lead all the way to the final lap only produced a winner at the final corners as Joan Mir snatched victory from Fabio Di Giannantonio with Stefano Manzi chasing them across the line.
It was the second win of the season for 16-year-old Spaniard Mir but the first time on the podium for Italian 15-year-old Di Giannantonio who's previous best was fifth in Race 1 at the Sachsenring. Italian 15-year-old Manzi seems stuck in second or third.
It can all change
Cup points leader Jorge Martín crashed out of the middle of the lead group starting the last lap when he came together with Assen winner Bo Bendsneyder at the first corner. Both the 16-year-old Spaniard and the 15-year-old Dutchman were unhurt.
They had been part of the superb battle and looked potential winners along with the other six but that clash left Di Giannantonio to seize the advantage. “I tried to win from the front,” explained the first year Rookie. “I was pushing, pushing, full gas all the way on the last lap and then just at the last corners Joan came past. That was it, I was second, very happy, such a great race, I'm so happy.”
A points boost for Mir
Mir was naturally thrilled. “I did a lot of leading but I could not get away. The guys were all fast and overtaking everywhere. The bike wasn't perfect but still great for the race and we were all very even, I didn't know if I could win it but I got a great run up the hill on the last lap and I knew what I had to do, it was close but it worked.”
“So close again,” said Manzi. “I don't know what I have to do, I was there with the front all the way and it is just so close. In the end the tyres were sliding quite a bit but of course it is the same for everyone and there just wasn't a way to pass both Joan and Fabio in the last corners.”
Ray just misses out
With his second fourth place of the weekend, again just by a few metres, 17-year-old Briton Brad Ray was philosophical. “I tried, I got to the front and pushed to get away but it is just too easy for the guys to slipstream past me and that is what they did. The good thing is that we moved forward with the bike setting on the front forks and I think we can do even better for Silverstone so we'll see what we can make of it there.”
Martín started the race with a 55 point advantage over Mir and Soushi Mihara but Mir's victory cut that to 30 with 125 still on offer from the remaining 5 races. Mihara, the 15-year-old Japanese who won in Jerez and Assen had a disastrous Brno, 18th in Qualifying, seventh in Race 1 he salvaged just 3 points from Race 2 by beating local hero Martin Gbelec across the line for 12th. Not good for Mihara but Gbelec was thrilled. “It was so much fun racing with Soushi, I really enjoyed that, I am so happy to pick up some points,” grinned the 13-year-old ex pocket bike racer.
It could have been worse
At least Martín escaped injury. “Yes that's true, it could have been worse but I didn't need that. I feel that I was able to get on the podium at least. The bike wasn't working well, we really struggled through practice but I was just picking the places to pass and trying to stay out of trouble.”
With so many points remaining to be won Mir still has thoughts of the title. “Why not, I will keep trying to win every weekend and there is a real chance, the racing is so close and anything can happen.”
The next two races are at Silverstone, the British Grand Prix on August 30th and 31st.