Winning by six seconds instead of six centimetres did not seem to make that much difference to Jorge Martín as the 16-year-old Spaniard made it a British Grand Prix double with a dominant, start-to-finish, victory at Silverstone on Sunday.
Finally some sunshine graced the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and it was Stefano Manzi, the 15-year-old Italian who led 15-year-old Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder to claim the remaining rostrum places after an intense seven-man battle.
On a roll
Pole man Martín made his third great start of the weekend and was heading for a one second lead after the first third of a lap. He then repeated his Italian Grand Prix perfection and romped away. “I have been working on those starts and I got another good one. Then I just pushed. I still thought it was going to be a big battle like yesterday but I was watching my pit board and soon there was a good gap.”
The points leader had set and incredible pace from the start, 2m 19.933s from a standing start with the lap record at 2m 17.525s. Martín then set the fastest lap of the race on lap two, a new record at 2m 16.953s. From there he kept reeling off the laps.
Nothing is perfect
“I wasn't so happy with the bike settings yesterday,” explained Martín. “But after talking it through with the suspension guys we decided it was better not to take a risk by changing anything and though the settings weren't perfect I could ride it and it didn't cause me any problems. I just kept telling myself, Mugello, Mugello, keep going like Mugello. I just had to keep concentrating and I won,” he concluded with a huge smile.”
Also smiling was Manzi, finally second after six third places this year. “Yes finally, I climbed up a step. Not to where I wanted to but starting from tenth it wasn't possible to do anything about Jorge today. I wasn't happy yesterday but in the end we didn't change the bike we changed me. I talked it over with my mechanic and worked out some different lines. Coming through the last lap I was determined to be at the front of the group, if I was third again, my mechanic would kill me,” concluded Manzi with his great smile.
Manzi stands third in the title chase and though he has a 65 point deficit to Martín he isn't giving up. “I will win in Misano,” asserts the man who was robbed on the line by Manuel Pagliani last year and is still looking for his first Cup victory.
First season star
Already with a win at his home GP, Bendsneyder is having an impressive first Rookies Cup season. He had to work very hard for his third, a distant ninth at the end of the first lap he had to make up a lot of ground before joining the second place battle. Though he managed to get to the front of that pack he could never brake away.
“It was a very hard race but a lot of fun. It was so close between us, a bit of contact and I just kept passing people whenever I could, I got to the front of the group a couple of times but they just kept coming past again, I'm so happy to be on the podium again,” concluded Bendsneyder.
Frustration at home
Brad Ray, the 17-year-old Briton, also had his turn at the head of the pack, determined to get the rostrum place that eluded him on Saturday. “I did everything I could again, I thought I was in the right place on the last lap, chasing Manzi down to Brooklands in his slipstream but then I got slipstreamed had a moment on the brakes and just missed out. Still I tried as hard as I could and it was another great race,” he grinned, consoling himself with an excellent fourth.
It was Joan Mir who picked up fifth and holds third in the title chase now 49 points adrift of Martín with 75 still to race for. The first of the three remaining races is in Misano in two weeks, on September 13th.
Race 2 Classification Download