It's been wheels on fire for our Red Bull stars this weekend...
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner moved into the MotoGP World Championship lead with a brilliant victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix. Starting from pole position, Stoner resisted pressure from Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo throughout the 28-lap race to score his second MotoGP victory in eight days.
“It was another fantastic weekend for us,” said Stoner who romped to victory despite some chatter issues during his Esotril encounter. “I had to try and keep my pace and not make too many mistakes, so I was changing the mapping to try and reduce the chatter problem. Towards the end of the race I began to understand how to ride around it, this made things smoother and I found some more pace and was able to bring it home for a great race win.”
Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa took the third spot on the podium behind Lorenzo, after losing an early lead after some wheelspin on the exit of the first corner. While Pedrosa managed to stay in touch with the leaders, he was not as fast as he would have liked through the corners and he too suffered some chatter. However, his third podium result from the first three races of the year keeps him very much in the title hunt.
“It was a really tough race from the beginning,” said Dani. “The pace was very, very high from the first lap to the final one. I had a big shake in the first braking area, Casey and Jorge overtook me and I lost 1.5 seconds on the first lap. During the race I had some issues in the middle of the corner, I was not fast with corner speed and I couldn’t close the gap. Three races on the podium is very good overall.”
Marc Marquez scored his second Moto2 victory of the season following an intense race that climaxed with a breathtaking final-lap encounter with Pol Espargaro, winner of last weekend’s Jerez round.
With seven laps to go, the two Spaniards moved ahead of the pack as they duelled for the top spot. Espargaro made his first attack at turn one, passing Marquez on the inside, only to run wide, allowing the series leader to retake the lead. Turn four was exactly the same, Espargaro squeezed ahead through on the entry, only to run wide again. Espargaro tried once again at the very next turn, this time making contact with his teenage rival. Again Marquez held on and grabbed the victory.
“That was like a 125 race - really difficult, especially at the end,” said Marc. “When I got into the lead I tried to push really hard and make a gap but I couldn’t manage it. On the last lap I tried to close the door on Pol and give 100 per cent. It was a great race and I think we are going to enjoy this win.”
Sandro Cortese thwarted Maverick Vinales’ second Moto3 victory of the year at Estoril by squeezing a victory just 0.055s ahead of his fellow competitor after the pair spent the entire race jostling back and forth at the front of the pack. Vinales had the speed through the corners, while Cortese enjoyed the advantage on the Portuguese track’s long main straight. On the final lap, Cortese retook the lead on the straight and Vinales was unable to find a way past the German as they sped towards the finish line.
“I tried everything I could and we had a very strong race, but in the end we couldn’t quite get the win,” said Maverick. “The last lap was amazing, but I don’t think that Cortese was polite, he gave me no room.”
Jonathan Rea finished in sixth place in the second race of the World Superbike championship race at Monza in Italy. The race, red-flagged after eight of a re-scheduled 16 laps, was won by British rider Tom Sykes, while Rea’s Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama was eleventh.
Rea had opted for a hard slick tyre in the initially dry conditions and was comfortably placed when the red flags came out.
“It’s been a manic, crazy weekend. As they say here: it’s a big casino!,” said Jonathan. “I’m happy with sixth here – the bike’s working really well and I’m really happy with the set-up. It’s just that down the straights here at Monza we didn’t have the speed to challenge the Aprilias and BMWs.”
Riders in the KTM Enduro Factory Team picked up a slew of podiums in rounds five and six of the World Championships in Munitibar in the autonomous Basque region of Northern Spain at the weekend.
The team’s new French signings Christophe Nambotin and Antoine Meo both cleaned up in every round in the E1 and the E3 classes and leave Spain with a perfect scorecard of 120 points each.
The E2 class riders also put in a solid weekend, with Johnny Aubert finishing second on Saturday just 20 seconds in front of the winner Pierre Alexandre Renet. Aubert went on to finish fourth on Sunday and is beginning to find his rhythm after a slower than usual start to the season in the four South American rounds.
David Knight, the second E3 factory rider had some difficulty matching the pace of Nambotin but was still very strong and on the podium twice this weekend. He was second on Saturday and third on Sunday to complete an excellent weekend for the team.
KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak came back from a first turn crash to finish third in the opening race of the 2012 GEICO AMA EnduroCross championship at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. After remaining undefeated in 2011, Blazusiak had a tough day and crashed a few times in practice and during his heat race. Colton Haaker got his first ever main event win by leading every lap of the main event, while Kawasaki’s Justin Soule took the second spot.
RED BULL ROOKIES CUP
Dutch rider Scott Deroue scored a sensational double win at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril to lead the Red Bull MotoGP Cup points table after four of the 15 races.
The 16 year old took the fourth round of the series when he came out of the final corner to slip past Germany’s Philipp Oettl and take the honours. Karel Hanika of the Czech Republic picked up his second podium third for the weekend.
“I went wide into the chicane on the last lap so no one could get past and then I had a good line through the last corners behind Philipp and I knew I could get him before the line,” said Scott.
Oettl said he was happy to be back on the podium after a difficult start to the Rookies season as he has experienced some difficulties making the switch between the KTM 125 Rookies bike and the KTM Moto3 4-stroke he rides in the Spanish Championship. “Today I got away with the group and that made the difference. It is a great feeling to be up here again. I really thought I had it won out of the last corner but then I saw Scotty out of the corner of my eye.”
Ryan Dungey raced to his fourth victory of the AMA Supercross season in Las Vegas on Saturday. The KTM rider, who only returned to action three weeks ago in Seattle after missing five races after suffering a broken collarbone, beat out a close-run competition with the second-placed Davi Millsaps.
“After the heat race, we made a change to the bike that really helped out in the main event,” said Dungey, who took the lead on the first lap. “The track was hard-packed tonight and a little tough. I am really happy that I could get this win for the KTM team.”
RED BULL JUNIOR TEAM
The first race of the 2012 Formula BMW Talent Cup was at Sturup Raceway in Sweden saw Red Bull Junior Callan O’Keeffe setting the fastest lap of the race with a lead of 0.994 seconds over Alfonso Celis.
The 15 year old, the youngest driver in the Junior Team of the Red Bulls, took his maiden pole position and took full advantage of the situation as he charged into the lead. From there he had everything under control, claiming an unchallenged lights-to-flag victory.
Kvyat! Fourth win in a row. The Red Bull kept his clean slate Motorland Aragon in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Race 2 in Spain.
Meanwhile, fellow Red Bull Junior Daniil Kvyat celebrated his second double victory of the year in Aragon, Spain.
“After the start I again had everything under control today,” said Daniil. “I was able to control the race and still drive one fastest lap after the other. My team again made it easy for me – with a perfect car.”