The intense action that typifies the Sachsenring is part of Rookies Cup legend. The circuit that rises and falls, turns back on itself in front of a crowd that sees every move performed by the teens on their KTMs in its stadium-like confines.
An early picture of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup battle is emerging, the contest between Ayumu Sasaki and Raúl Fernández that started towards the end of last year is coming into focus this season. The 15-year-old Japanese had the upper hand at the opening weekend in Spain with a win and a second but last time out at Assen a double victory for the 15-year-old Spaniard closed the points gap to just nine with Sasaki holding the advantage thanks to finishing fourth and second.
The long game
The weather played a huge part in the Dutch TT and Sasaki clearly had it mind that finishing well was better than risking everything to fight Fernández who was clearly in a class of his own in the treacherous conditions. The forecast is much better for the coming weekend.
It is not going to be a battle just between the pair, Rookies Cup racing just isn't like that. It was Aleix Viu who shared the points lead with Sasaki leaving Jerez but he hated the wet weekend in the Netherlands. Expect the 15-year-old Spaniard to bounce back in Germany.
The Spanish started the season with a home circuit advantage but that now swings to 15-year-old Matthias Meggle and 16-year-old Kevin Orgis who will have plenty of support from the patriotic spectators. At the moment they lie 16th and 17th in the points battle but they are faster than that and could well be podium prospects at home in their first Cup seasons.
It was Walid Soppe who almost made his national fans ecstatic in Assen, getting to the front in both races and leading Race 2 onto the last lap before falling. The 16-year-old Dutchman gets more mature with every race and could well put that behind him and be a significant threat at the Sachsenring.
More to come
Last year the German round saw 17-year old Russian Makar Yurchenko hit is stride with fourth in qualifying. The races were a bit of a let down with 10th and 15th place finishes but he has improved again this season and is due a great result.
It is also time for something special from 16-year old Spaniards Marc Garcia and Rufino Florido. In his third Cup season Garcia has the experience to be further up than fourth in the points table. Florido is in his second season, he challenged at the front in both races last year but fell, he is looking to move up from fifth in the table.
Race 1 is at 16.30 CET on Saturday July 16th with Race 2 on Sunday at 15.30. The races can be seen live on TV channels around the globe and on www.redbull.tv with the show starting 10 minutes before the race.