Kaito Toba passed Ayumu Sasaki and Aleix Viu on the brakes at the penultimate corner to claim Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 2 at the Sachsenring. The 16-year-old Japanese held on at the last corner over the 15-year-old Spaniard and Japanese 15-year-old Sasaki.
It was another classic with five KTMs trading places throughout the sixteen laps and 15-year-old Spaniard Raúl Fernández just being edged off the podium with Marc Garcia picking up fifth. Just 0.393 seconds covered all of them.
A new start
It was huge change of fortunes for Toba. "A very hard race I was confident on the bike from the start, I got in front but it was so hard to hold that position, the other riders were also very fast. On the last lap I just braked very very late at the second to last corner and passed two riders."
"It is great to win after a terrible start to the season, three crashes in the first three races but now we can really start the season again, I am very happy."
A step up
Viu did a lot of leading again and made it one better than his third place from Saturday. "Yes that's better and important for the championship to finish in front of Sasaki and Fernández. We changed the bike a little bit, the setting of the front fork and I was a bit more confident. I had a good rhythm and again I was quicker through the first half of the track. At the beginning the second corner was still damp but then it dried."
"I had a plan for the last lap but then Toba came past, I tried to get inside him at the last corner but couldn't. Of course I'm disappointed not to win again but the points are good."
On the podium again at the German Grand Prix and for the fifth time in six races Sasaki was still not thrilled. "No, it was OK. Again Viu was fast in sections 1 and 2 but we had changed the setting on my bike a bit and I could follow him more easily than yesterday."
"In the middle of the race a lot of riders joined the lead group but that's racing, it made it hard to get away. In the end Kaito won, he was the strongest rider and congratulations to him," concluded the Cup leader who has a 17 point advantage having yet to finish outside the top four.
Fernández was fourth, ever smiling and admitted that he was happy enough with that. "We changed the settings a bit but I still wasn't happy with the bike. The rear suspension was too hard and I couldn't get the drive, particularly out of the first corner. I just rode as hard as I could and picked up some good points again which is so important.
"It's not my favourite track, I couldn't get the bike to work really the way I wanted so the results were OK. Next race is the Red Bull Ring and that will be different," he asserted.
Makar Yurchenko, the 17-year-old Russian, had a good ride to sixth, backing up his fifth from Saturday but was still frustrated. "No not good enough. I made a good start but then my first lap was terrible and I lost a lot of places. I came back but the leaders were too far ahead by then and it was impossible to catch them."
The next Rookies Cup event is at the Red Bull Ring on August 13th and 14th, races 7 and 8 of the 13 race season.