José Rueda leads the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup going into the final 2 races of the season. The ultra cool 17-year-old Spaniard will have a clinical approach to defending his 11 point advantage much as he has done since winning the first race of the season in Portimão back in April.
Collin Veijer is the only other rider who can take the title and the Dutchman’s race plan will be no less measured but his determination is well and truly lit. The 17-year-old will muster all the skill and determination that took him to victory last time out in Aragon.
Nothing in it
Two races mean 50 points, making that 11 point margin between the pair look quite frail. Rueda is as consistent as anyone on the KTM RC 250 Rs yet finished 6th in that last race and lost 15 points to his arch rival. He had gained 7 on the Saturday when he finished 2nd and Veijer 4th. The points swing is huge when you consider the negligible time difference at the finish line after 30 minutes of racing. 0.183 seconds was Veijer’s advantage over Rueda on Sunday and the gap between them had been just 0.038 the day before. So however you add it up there is nothing in it by the numbers going into the showdown.
November finale – racing on Friday and Saturday
It’s an early start to a late end to the season with the final two races being held on Friday and Saturday. No one wants to compete with the post MotoGP Championship deciding race celebrations on Sunday. These are races 13 and 14 of the 2022 season and historically Rookies Cup races 195 and 196.
We have never had a season packed with more exciting racing and it has been about far more than just Rueda and Veijer for while they have had 3 wins each there have been another 4 race victors. Angel Piqueras and Max Quiles both have two wins with Tatchakorn Buasri and Rico Salmela on one apiece.
Quiles, Piqueras and Buasri stand 3rd to 5th in the points chase with Italian 16-year-old Luca Lunetta 6th and still looking for his first top step, though he has already taken a 2nd and a 3rd in this his 3rd season. Salmela stands 7th in his first Cup season and is well on form after crossing the line first in Aragon on Saturday but the 14-year-old was frustrated to fall in Race 2. Just as frustrated is Casey O’Gorman for the 15-year-old Irishman started this, his first Cup year, finishing 2nd and 3rd, is almost always in the battle for the lead yet has not been on the podium since and stands 8th in the table.
Moving on up
Filippo Farioli is 9th but will not progress from there as he has better things to do. The 17-year-old Italian has already had a 2nd and a 3rd this year in the Rookies Cup and steps up to make his first start in the Moto3 World Championship in Valencia prior to a full time entry next season. Australian 16-year-old Harrison Voight is in 10th place and has a best result of 2nd in Race 1 at the Sachsenring and has already made his GP debut in Moto3 at Misano. In the final Moto3 Grand Prix of the season Farioli joins a host of ex Rookies including newly crowned World Champion Izan Guevara. His is the 10th World Championship won by ex Rookies who have already racked up 23 Grand Prix wins this year bringing the running total overall to 159.