News 28 Jun 2009

MotoGP: Sissis top Aussie Rookie in eighth, Hook and Mavin crash

Red Bull:

A seven man battle for the lead for most of the 16 laps made it the race of the day at the Dutch Grand Prix and all the sweeter for Sturla Fagerhaug who took his 3rd Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup victory of the year. The 17 year old Norwegian finally managed to open an advantage but it was still 4 men fighting for the other podium places at the last corner with Daijiro Hiura coming out ahead of Jake Gagne, Florian Marino and Jakub Kornfeil.

“That was a great race,” said a sweaty Fagerhaug as he took his helmet off. “At least I didn’t make a mess of the start this time and I managed to get to the front quite early. Then I made a few mistakes and some others got past. I settled down and started to put in some good laps to try and get away but they stayed with me.”

“I really didn’t want it to come down to a big fight at the last corner, at least I just wanted to be fighting with only one other rider if I couldn’t get away completely. We were doing quite good lap times but there are three straights so if the others work on the slipstream it is easier for them to stay with you. I just kept pushing as hard as I could and finally I did get away. So then I just had to be smooth and not make any mistakes.”

Even when Fagerhaug did eventually make the break it was all thrills behind and one of the leading lights was Danny Kent who managed to repeatedly out manoeuvre the other Rookies with a daring inside pass at the Strubben, the corner onto the back straight. “It’s something that James Toseland told me and it really worked. I could pass the guys inside, then get back across as far as possible so it didn’t spoil the drive onto the straight. Sometimes I lost a little on the drive, sometimes not but it really helped me get past,” said the 15 year old Englishman.

“I wanted to get after Sturla so when I got into second I put my head down and pushed as hard as I could, I thought I could catch him. but then on the brakes the front folded under and I crashed,” concluded Kent.

When Kent fell on lap 14 the last chance of catching Fagerhaug went with him. Marino, Hiura, Gagne and Kornfeil continued the fight for the podium having dropped 15 year old Swede Alex Kristiansson who had been part of the lead battle early on.

Gagne, the 15 year old Californian was impressive in his first race at Assen. “I love the track, I was really enjoying myself, things were sliding around quite a bit towards the end but we were all having fun. I didn’t want to leave it to a big out-braking effort at the last corner so I tried to get away but they past me out the back on the last lap and it was all on into the last corner.”

Coming into the chicane it was Marino who had second but it wasn’t to be the Frenchman’s day to go to the podium. “I so wanted to walk up those steps, I pushed and pushed all race,” said the 16 year old. “Coming down to the last corner I was in front and I knew I had to be late but hold the line. As I braked and turned-in the front wheel tucked under, I had to let it go and I just ran a little wide, that was it, the others got through.”

“I still haven’t got to the podium but that was a great race, all the guys were riding hard and well, not messing each other up as at the earlier races, it was just great, it was Grand Prix racing,” concluded Marino with a smile despite his deep disappointment.

Hiura’s second was well deserved as he did not make such a great start from 8th on the grid and completed the first lap in the same position. He was soon on the move though and became one of the strongest in the 7 man battle. “That was great fun, a very good race,” said the 14 year old Japanese with his characteristic grin. “I pushed as hard as I could then Sturla got away from us but I knew we were fighting for the podium. We were all pushing hard into the last corner then Marino went on the grass and I got through.”What Would Jesus Buy? dvdrip