Jerez : Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup – Rd 1
A drama packed opening round of the 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies hardly touched 16 year old Spaniard Luis Salom who romped to a convincing victory. Behind him fifteen laps of action resulted in 2nd place for 16 year old American
JD Beach who crossed the line just ahead of 14 year old Scot Deane Brown.
It was 15 year old Cristian Trabalon who played a large part in much of the drama. He led off the line and though quickly passed by Salom and Beach on the opening lap fought all the way only to crash at the final corner while fighting for a place on the podium.
Salom looked so cool and smooth as he went one better than the 2nd place he took at the Jerez opener last year and matched his Assen win though in a much more convincing manner.
“For me it was a perfect race. I was happy after practice that I could do a good pace and I just concentrated on not making any mistakes. Sure I am happy to win the first race of the season in front of my home crowd. I want to try and do the same tomorrow. I just have to keep calm as I know the crowd will be much bigger and I have to ignore the pressure.”
Beach counted himself a little lucky to be second. “The bike just started playing up quite early on. It was spluttering and losing power. I just did what I could to hang on to second. The others were catching, then I'd make a bit of a gap but it just got worse and they had me.”
“It got pretty close then. These Spanish riders pass without leaving any room and I had to fight for my place. In the end I was just doing everything that I could as the bike got slower. I hope we can sort it out for tomorrow as that was a bit too exciting”, concluded Beach who made his road race debut just a year ago at the first Rookies race in Jerez.
Completing the podium Deane Brown had a first hand view of a lot of the action. “That was something, when JD and Trabalon bumping into each other, I though we were all going down. Trabalon was coming from so far back, right up the inside and pushing, it was pretty hard.”
“I wanted to be in second on the last lap but I ended up fourth so coming down to the last corner I just did what I could. I tried to get past JD but he had it covered. Not a bad start to the season, I'll just see if I can go one better tomorrow.... or two”, said the Scot with a grin.
There were no serious injuries despite some fearful crashes, the most dramatic of which was the 7th lap crash of 14 year old Japanese Sasuke Shinozaki who high-sided out of the 6 man battle for 3rd going through the fast right hander onto the main straight. His cart-wheeling bike was hit by Matthew Hoyle who had no chance of avoiding it. Incredibly neither were injured.
Only slightly less dramatic was Dylan Mavin's 5th lap crash out of what was at the time an 8 man battle for third. The 15 year old Australian was left with a cut chin as his bike was struck by Mathew Scholtz who also crashed. The 15 year old South African remounted but half a lap later pulled off the track with a flat front tyre.
Nelson Major, the 15 year old Frenchman in his first Rookies race was one of the heroes of that battle for second and he crossed the line 4th ahead of 13 year old Japanese Daijiro Hiura who was in his second Rookies race after his Wild Card ride in Valencia last year.
Another newcomer was 6th and a little unlucky as 15 year old Spaniard Daniel Ruiz had been right at the front of that pack for much of the race only to loose out on the last lap.