Cup leader Jorge Martín won an all too exciting Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 2 at the Sachsenring and was chased over the line by Brad Ray. Saturday's winner Toprak RazgatlÄ±oÄŸlu came back from a fall to pick up third place, almost as unbelievable as his victory the previous day.
Martín, the 17-year-old Spaniard, was surprised to be standing on the top step of the podium after a three bike crash with just three laps remaining elevated him from fifth to second. “It was a tough race and I am so sorry that the other guys did not finish, I really don't deserve this win because before the crash I wasn't going to be standing here,” admitted Martín.
From 4th to 1st
“After the others went out,” explained Martín. “Ray was ahead and I pushed to catch him and managed to get past, it really was a shock to cross the line first. I was in quite a lot of pain because I had a bang on the start line yesterday and really hurt my right foot, I am lucky that this circuit is mostly left handers because otherwise it would have been worse.”
Ray, the 17-year-old Briton, looked to be in shock in parc fermé and on the podium. “It was a great race until we came down the hill with a couple of laps to go and I got a great run and went top the inside, I felt someone hit the back of my bike and I thought, what was that. As I came through the corner I looked behind and saw no-one and thought, 'oh no what have I done?'” he said as he stepped down from the podium and was then invited by the stewards to discuss the incident. He was given three caution points.
Unlucky for Pagliani, Manzi and Gutierrez
It had been a very close five man battle for the lead over the last half of the race with the fastest man from Saturday, 17-year-old Manuel Pagliani, doing most of the leading from fellow countryman, 15-year-old, Stefano Manzi. Oscar Gutierrez, the 13-year-old Spaniard, ran third ahead of Ray and Martín.
On Saturday Pagliani clearly had pace on the field and had a huge lead when he crashed but this time he couldn't break free. Neither could Manzi when he had his chance in front. Even with considerable less experience Gutierrez was as quick as anyone on the identical KTM RC 250 Rs and the winner looked most likely to be one of them.
It all went wrong
Coming down the hill to the penultimate corner with three laps remaining Ray had a great slipstream and the pace to go past. But as he moved right Pagliani went left and they touched. So often, that would have been all but this time it set of a chain reaction; as Pagliani was unsettled and bounced into Manzi both went down and skittled Gutierrez.
Ray was handed the lead but was obviously unsettled and Martín quickly caught him and set about winning the race. They crossed the line together, separated by just .062 of a second but a full 18 seconds ahead of third placed RazgatlÄ±oÄŸlu.
RazgatlÄ±oÄŸlu – man of the weekend
It was on lap 13 of the 19 that the 17-year-old Turk had fallen at turn one but the lanky ace used his leg to keep the bike off the ground as he slid. “I saved it from damage and kept the engine running,” he explained. “Then I picked it up and got back in the race but lost a couple of places,” he added with his usual sheepish smile.
He had made one of those places up by the time he completed the lap and was seventh behind 15-year-old Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio but he had lost 9 seconds on the leaders. “I had been trying to catch them but I then realised it was impossible and thought I was just racing for a few points. I never thought I could get on the podium, it has been a very lucky weekend and a lot of fun.”
With seven races completed the second half of the Rookies Cup season starts in Brno, Czech Republic on August 16th & 17th.