Race 2 in Misano was just as thrilling as Saturday’s classic and this time Angel Piqueras flashed across the line first ahead of fellow Spaniards Max Quiles and Alvaro Carpe. Less than 2 seconds covered the top 12 KTMs after 15 laps on the Adriatic coast.
The 2023 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has belonged to Piqueras since the Dutch round but now he is the most successful Rookie in the 17 seasons, 9 wins in one year and 11 in two seasons.
Piqueras perfect: “Yesterday I said that everyone was overtaking me and that I couldn’t run my race at my pace,” explained the 16-year-old. “Today I only focused on doing my best and I knew that I had a very good pace.I was trying and trying hard to make a gap but it is quite difficult here the slipstream is so important. This time I did manage to get across the line first but it was so close, I was not sure I had won it. I did get my 9th victory this year and I am very happy to now have the record for Rookies wins in a season. I’d only just been born when the Cup started in 2007.I thank the Cup and everyone that supports me and I’m now looking forward to the World Championship.”
Quiles so close: “A very good race,” enthused the 15-year-old who is 3rd in the points table. “I enjoyed it a lot. Everyone was pushing a lot so it was very difficult, then in the last laps it got harder and harder. On the last lap, I was preparing to overtake Piqueras in the last 3 or 4 corners. I overtook Carpe but then I went a bit wide in the third fast corner at the back and he overtook me back.That spoilt the possibility I had to overtake for the win but I said to myself that I will set up the final corner as well as I can for a fast exit. I got close to the win but took P2 so I am very happy with that,” concluded Quiles who was just 0.009 seconds behind Piqueras and 0.008 ahead of Carpe on the line.”
Carpe couldn’t repeat:“Another really good race with all the riders very aggressive,” explained the 16-year-old who won on Saturday. “It was just like yesterday, I knew that I had to be just as aggressive or I would not keep at the front of the group.Of course, I was trying to win again, it was so close across the line but this time I was 3rd. Still, it’s another podium in my Rookie season in the Cup so I am happy about that. It is so important for me and my career to have this success. I have enjoyed this season and especially the races in Spielberg and here.”
Rico Salmela from pole to 4th: “Yes, a good race, obviously better than yesterday,” stated the 15-year Finn who fell in Race 1. “The track was better than yesterday so a bit more easy to ride. With a few laps to go, I made a small mistake, I went back to P7 or 8. I worked back to P5, then I overtook Pini in the last lap but in the end, I was fighting too much with Pini. Then I couldn’t make the move on Maximo, Pini was all the time trying to pass me back, I had to defend. Finally I was 4th because Pini got a track limits penalty on the last lap and I am also 4th in the championship. Better than last, I wanted more but we’ll see for next year. There are things to improve in the winter.”
Guido Pini penalised to 5th: “It was a good race for me, the podium was so close but I couldn’t quite make it,” explained the 15-year-old Italian who crossed the line 4th but dropped a place due to exceeding track limits on the final lap. I am happy because after Austria, which was a very difficult weekend I am so happy to feel right on the bike again and being able to fight for the front, we are back. I was so close to the podium but I think I needed to push a bit more earlier, to be right at the front with Angel and Carpe. Then I would have been able to go for the podium on the last lap. I hope to stay another year in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and do better.”
Ruche Moodley enjoyed the lead more than finishing 6th: “I tried 100%,” stated the 16-year-old South African. “I knew after yesterday I had a lot of things to improve so last night I just watched the race so many times, just to see all the good overtaking spots. And today I think I did it perfectly. After yesterday we made the rear a little bit harder for a bit more stability. Yesterday when I overtook someone the back was always going up because the front was really soft. We made it harder and it was better today. I felt quite good in front but then I thought, ‘Maybe let Piqueras lead for a bit and I’ll see where he is strong’. But he has a different riding style, he stops and goes a lot more where I carry a lot of corner speed. So behind him, it was difficult to keep the same rhythm behind. That was my mistake, I should have just stayed in front.”