Jerez : Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Luis Salom snatched a convincing pole position for the first round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
Lining up beside the 16 year old Spaniard on the grid on Saturday for the first race are American 16 year old JD Beach, Cristian
Trabalon and Dylan Mavin.
Particularly impressive is Mavin's 4th place in qualifying as the 15 year old Australian is taking part in his first Rookies event while the other three on the front row raced in 2007. 15 year old Spaniard Trabalon only jumped onto the front row with his last lap of the day. Mavin crashed half way through that second 30 minute timed session but got back to the pits, had the handlebars straightened and went out again with 5 minutes remaining.
“The position is fine but not the lap time”, said pole man Salom with a grin. “The track just doesn't feel to have grip today. We tried a few things with the bike but that isn't the problem. The bike is great. I am looking forward to the race”, concluded last year's Assen winner who was second in Jerez a year ago and lapped over 6 tenths faster then in practice.
Happier with everything was JD Beach. Last year's Jerez round was his first ever road race and he has come a long way since then. “That was a lot of fun. In the first session the bike started to slide around a lot as the tyres got worn and I wasn't concentrating that well in the second half of the session. I knew what I was doing wrong and just made sure that I concentrated better in the second session. The bike's good, I'm ready to go racing.”
Heading the second row of the grid on Saturday will be 15 year old South African Mathew Scholtz, another first time Rookie, who has been quick all through pre season testing. “I really like this track so I'm having a lot of fun. We just changed the front suspension a bit but basically the bike is great. In the second session I didn't go any quicker but I was just trying a few different lines and things, I'm happy.”
Finland's 13 year old Niklas Ajo broke his left collarbone when he crashed in the second timed session.
The result of Saturday's first race of the season will determine the grid for Sunday's race in this double header opening weekend.