Carpe's first Rookies Cup win is a classic in Spielberg


Álvaro Carpe was all but perfect from lights to flag and the 16-year-old Spaniard scored his first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup victory in Spielberg. Cup winner and victory demon Angel Piqueras was denied another win but grabbed 2nd from pole man Rico Salmela in a great last-lap battle that could have gone either way.
The trio were clearly the strongest and Max Quiles could do no better than hang on to them as they pulled away from the rest of the pack.


Carpe has time on old tyres pay off

“I think it was the best race of my life. I am really happy, I pushed on every lap and was leading all the way. In the Qualifying I was riding alone and I knew that I did not need to follow anyone. The bike was great all through Friday and I was very confident going into the race. It was great fun to ride. In my training, I ride so much with the old tyres so even though with the higher temperatures today the bike was sliding a bit that did not worry me at all. I am used to push hard when the bike is sliding and I think that this is the result. Coming to the last lap I just pushed even harder, I thought the riders behind would try and pass so I just went harder than ever in the last lap.”

Piqueras denied another win but has plans for Sunday

“I really couldn’t make a plan to win because Carpe was riding so fast,” admitted the 16-year-old Spaniard. “I didn’t have a strategy, I just did what I could.Starting the last lap I thought I could win, I pushed but Rico and I had a battle and it wasn’t possible to get Carpe. I hope tomorrow will be different, I think we should be able to improve the bike quite a bit, the suspension and the gearing. I’m not sure just what we want from the gearing, we will have to think about it.”

Salmela went for it but missed

“I was struggling a bit but it was still a good race,” accepted the 15-year-old Finn. “I think everyone was struggling a bit. The track is more slippery when it is hot but it is the same for everyone. In the race, I saw that Carpe had very good pace so I decided to follow him. I had a plan for the last lap, I tried to pass him in Turn 4 but he kept to the inside, I tried the outside but it didn’t work and I went a bit wide and Piqueras passed. I passed Piqueras in the second to last corner but he Carpe braked a bit earlier than I expected and I had to slow, letting Piqueras take 2nd.”

Quiles took 4th rather than a fall

I was struggling a lot with the bike,” explained the 15-year-old Spaniard. “When I turned into the fast corners I had the front bouncing and the front tyre was sliding. I was on the limit all the time, at every corner. The best thing that I could do was stay with the group. I didn’t want to push too much and have another crash, I was on the limit. We will see if we can improve it for tomorrow. I don’t know, when I saw the other guys ahead of me they seemed to be a bit more comfortable so I don’t think it was just the track temperature.”

Cormac Buchanan 6th even with a track limits penalty

“It was a good race,” enthused the 16-year-old New Zealander. “The most important thing for me was just to get a good start, try and make as many places up as early as I could. It was quite nice because I knew I had the pace to be up the field, me and Marcus Ruda were working together and we closed in but in the last laps when the rear tyre started to drop off I lacked a little bit. I think tomorrow in cooler conditions in the morning it should be a bit better and it is great to be back in the pointy end of the race. It makes a big difference to get a good result on merit. I didn’t know I had a long lap penalty until I saw it on my dash on the last lap so I just kept pushing, hoping I had enough of a gap to those behind. When Marcos (Ruda) came past me it was really important to stay with him and I was able to do that.”

Danial Shahril an excellent 7th

“I am very happy with that, my best result this year in Rookies Cup,” grinned the 20-year-old Malaysian. “Super happy to be fighting in the top group and finish in the top 10. After 10 laps I made a mistake in the chicane, I caught neutral in the gearbox and I lost the group. It was then difficult to catch the group and fight for the podium. I think tomorrow can be better, I was hitting the limit on the straight so I think the taller gearing could help tomorrow.”

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