The final Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season at Misano on Saturday sees a showdown for the Cup title between Jake Gagne and Danny Kent. Gagne turned 17 on August 27th and the Californian leads the 16 year old Briton by 11 points with 25 still at stake for the single remaining race.
Kent has a fine record this season as he backed up victory in the first race of the year at Jerez with 3 2nd places and 2 3rds. Gagne started slower and did not win until race 4 at Assen but he has been on the podium 4 times in total and only on the top spot. Gagne needs 3rd in Misano to take the Cup if Kent wins.
It is the first Rookies race at Misano so a new experience for most of the riders and both Gagne and Kent know very well that it is not just a battle between the pair of them. Already there have been 5 different winners in the 9 races so far contested with Daniel Ruiz, Daijiro Hiura and Kevin Calia well capable of adding another win to their tally in Italy.
There have been 9 different riders on the podium and of those, Brad Binder the 15 year old South African and 16 year old Briton Harry Stafford probably have the greatest frustration in have victory so far elude them. Both have said they are determined to put that right in Misano. Binder scored a 3rd in Mugello and two close 2nds behind Gagne at the Sachsenring.
Mugello winner Hiura is the most frustrated rider of all this year after suffering a mechanical failure in Assen and being brought down in race 2 in Brno after finishing 2nd on the Saturday. Hiura, Binder, Ruiz and Calia are all fighting over 3rd place in the Cup standings, with that place at the moment a tie between Hiura and Binder.
Stafford is back in 7th ahead of Alex Kristiansson who should be a lot fitter after the three week break since Brno when he tried to return too quickly from his broken collarbone. Unfortunately Mathew Scholtz who also tried unsuccessfully to ride in Brno will not be able to try again in Misano as his doctor at home in South Africa has warned that riding will do too much damage to the nasty injury to his big toe he sustained in the Assen practice crash.