News 26 Jun 2009

MotoGP: Sissis seventh in Assen Red Bull Rookies practice

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Points leader Sturla Fagerhaug has 26 opponents snapping at his heels going into the second day of qualify on Friday ready for Saturday’s 4th race in the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. The 17 year old Norwegian showed how well he knows the Dutch TT track but realises that 16 year old Jakub Kornfeil from the Czech Republic is just the first of those who would like to knock him out of Pole Position.

“This is not really a favourite track of mine,” admitted Kornfeil who was just 4 tenths slower than Fagerhaug and second quickest. “I like the big open tracks like Mugello and Brno but the bike is working so well, I’ve got a good feeling, plenty of grip and the engine is running well so I am just enjoying riding it. I am not going to change anything for tomorrow, just ride.”

Under 2 tenths slower again was third place man Alex Kristiansson, the 15 year old Swede. “I enjoyed that, it was a lot of fun, a bit windy but not too much of a problem. I am looking forward to having more fun with the bike tomorrow,” grinned Kristiansson, doing so well in his first season in the Cup and making use of the fact that he raced in a Dutch national event at Assen a few weeks ago to better know the track.

They still have to find something special if the are going to depose Fagerhaug who did head the leader-board for most of the time during the first, non-qualifying session as well as the 30 minute timed session. “I am quite happy with that,” said Fagerhaug. “I got going reasonably fast but then when I wanted to go a bit quicker it wasn’t so easy. The wind kept changing direction and I was looking for a good slipstream as well and didn’t find one. It is OK though, the lap times were pretty consistent and I will see what I can do tomorrow.”

An impressive 6th fastest is Californian 15 year old Jake Gagne, still building his road race experience and having his first visit to Assen. “I enjoyed that, it’s a fun track, especially the fast sections. I’ve got to do some work on the first, slower section. I think that is where I am losing my time. I also want to talk to the WP suspension guy because the rear is sliding quite a lot through the fast stuff.”

Even more impressive, for he has even less road race experience, is Arthur Sissis, the Australian speedway expert who has just turned 14 and in his first roadrace season. He stands 7th fastest just ahead of Austrian 13 year old Nico Thöni. “That was a lot of fun,” said Thöni. “The bike is working so well, both handling and engine. It is great to ride especially in the fast sections. I want to improve my breaking for the first corner, I think I can pick up some time there but otherwise I think it is all good.”

Danny Kent, the 15 year old Englishman, who lies second to Fagerhaug in points was 4th fastest and clearly intends to cut that Cup lead if he can. Two who should have similar ideas, Daijiro Hiura and Mathew Scholtz, both fell during the day and though unhurt, were only 9th and 13th fastest.

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