Redbull Rookies Cup: Piqueras grabs record 9th Rookies win in Misano photo finish finale

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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.

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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.”

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