Philipp Oettl headed the 14 man lead battle when it mattered to cross the line ahead of Scott Deroue and Karel Hanika in the British Grand Prix round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Silverstone on Sunday.
The 16 year old German traded the lead throughout the 14 lap race and judged it perfectly at the end to find himself clear while the pack barged elbows into the final complex resulting in 2nd for 16 year olds Deroue from the Netherlands and Hanika from the Czech Republic. Victory gives Oettl the Cup points lead with 89 ahead of Deroue on 87 and Saturday's winner Florian Alt on 83.
German 16 year old Alt had another fine ride to take 4th ahead of Ivo Lopes, Bradley Ray and Lorenzo Baldassarri in a race in which and any one of the 14 at the front could have been on the podium.
Often leading is not the best place to be on the final lap of a Rookies race but Oettl had it worked out brilliantly. “I knew that it would all come down to the last few corners, the left right chicane and onto the start and finish. I practiced doing them perfectly and I knew that if I did that I could win it. That is what I managed on the final lap and it worked out.”
A sensational performance on the last 2 laps came from Deroue who seemed to be struggling mid pack for much of the race. “It was just so tough in there, all the guys trying so hard, very exciting but very difficult to try and get to the front. Then on the last lap I just managed to pick up the right slipstream and passed a load of guys coming down the straight and up to the front, then it was just about late braking and holding on to 2nd. Wow that was great.”
Hanika was twice on the podium at the previous round in Estoril and a consistent front runner all year, this time he could not quite turn pole position into a win. “It was a great race, so much fun. We were fighting all the way and I could get to the front but just couldn't stay there. I am quite tall so I really need the slipstream from the other guys, when I get in front it is a bit too easy for them to catch me. Still it was another great race and at least I have raced at Assen once before so for the first time this year I will know the track.”
Alt was not too disappointed with 4th. “It was a great race and it just didn't quite work out. I made a mistake towards the end and I was back in 10th going onto the last lap so to get to 4th from there wasn't too bad. The win yesterday was great and the other good thing is that it is the first time this year that I have scored points in both races.”
The 15 year old Portuguese Ivo Lopes had a fine ride into 5th, battling at the front for most of the race and making up for the disappointment of retiring from Saturday's race because he could find no feeling with the rain tyres on the dry track. “It was a fantastic battle today, very tough. Of course I wanted to be on the podium but I knew it wouldn't be easy, I was back in 10th at the start and got up to 4th on the 1st lap so that was pretty good and we had a great battle all the way.”
2011 Cup Champion Lorenzo Baldassarri had another difficult race, again tied up in the pack and as usual he was honest about it. “I had the chance to lead but when I did I made mistakes and then when I was tied up in the group it was so difficult for me to break out. The points for 7th are OK but I really must do better.” concluded the Italian who now stands 6th in the title chase behind Lopes and Kyle Ryde.
Ryde crossed the line 8th, unlucky on the last lap in the final section when last year's Saturday winner Lukas Trautmann crashed. “When Lukas went down I had to go way wide and that was it but what a brilliant race,” concluded the 14 year old Briton.
Races 6 and 7 of the 15 in the Rookies Cup season are at the Dutch TT at Assen on June 29 and 30th.