It is a crucial time for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup - the deadline for 2011 applications is August 10, and two of the last three races of the season take place on August 14 and 15 in Brno, Czech Republic.
With seven races completed the 2010 points race is led by 16-year-old Californian Jake Gagne. With 117 points he is 14 ahead of 16-year-old Briton Danny Kent and another 10 clear of 18-year-old Spaniard Daniel Ruiz. It was Kent and Ruiz that started the year fighting for the points lead with a win each at the opening double race weekend in Jerez, Spain.
The first hjird of the season was not that great for Gagne; finishing 5th, 6th and 8th after missing most of the pre-season test thanks to a badly twisted ankle he sustained early in that test. He turned his year round with a win in the 1st race at Assen and seized the Cup lead in the most dramatic fashion with double victories at the Sachsenring.
Gagne is certainly the man on form and he is chased hard by South African Brad Binder who turns 15th just before the Brno races. Binder shadowed Gagne across the line in Germany and that moved him to 5th in the points table, 30 adrift of Gagne but only 2 behind Daijiro Hiura the Japanese who has just turned 16. Hiura has also led the points this year after his win in Mugello but before tough weekends in Assen and Germany.
With 75 points still at stake in the final 3 races the Cup is still completely open to any of the top 5. Many more are well capable of featuring in the battle for race wins and rostrum places. 9 different riders have finished on the podium so far this season and one of those, Mathew Scholtz makes very welcome return to racing in Brno having missed 4 races since his Assen practice crash resulted in a badly torn toe.
The 17 year old South African is more than ready to get back to racing at the track where he won in 2008. “Although I realise I have not been anywhere near a bike in seven weeks I have continued to watch my diet and trained as much as has been possible. It has really been a struggle not racing every weekend and watching your friends race on live timing and on the Red Bull site. That is really hard to do.”
Back after an even longer enforced separation is 15 year old Frenchman Alan Techer who broke his arm badly when he crashed at the last corner in Jerez. “I can't wait to go racing again, it's been a long time. I am coming to Brno and I just hope I get the clearance from the doctor, it should be OK.”
Unfortunately while 2 riders come off the injury list Alex Kristiansson has gone onto it having broken his collarbone racing in the German Championship round at Schleiz. "It was a fast downhill section and another rider who was trying to pass me, hit me. My collarbone feels better and better every day. 2 weeks is a short time to ride again but I will go to Brno and get advice from Dr. Costa.”