News 17 Jul 2011

Mechanical dramas rule Sissis out of contention in Germany

Australia’s Arthur Sissis’ title hopes in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup have taken a cruel blow at Sachsenring’s German MotoGP round after being struck with a mechanical right before the race’s start.

Sissis’ bike was swapped in the pit lane for a spare and he started half a lap behind. He completed the 19-lap race but the bike was not set up for him and he never got close to a points scoring position.

Philipp Oettl put on a superb display to win the first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the weekend at the Sachsenring. The 15-year-old German got the best of a 12 man battle for the lead heading South African Brad Binder and Dutch rider Scott Deroue across the line.

SIssis’ arch-rival in the Cup chase, Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri, was in that 12 man battle for the lead but it had dwindled to an eight man struggle when Xavi Pinsach crashed in front of him and split the group further.

That left Baldassarri with an eight second deficit to the five man group who then fought all the way to the line. The Italian picked up 10 points for sixth and closed the points deficit to Sissis to just seven with four races remaining.

“That was such a fun race,” said the victorious Oettl. “The start was okay and I took second going into the first corner. Then it was a really hard fight with a big group of riders all the way. It was tough because the grip was not that great and the bike was sliding around a lot.

“When it came to the last lap I just went as hard as I could in the hope of opening up a little bit of a gap before the last corners.”

The second race of the weekend will take place on Sunday morning in Germany.