News 3 May 2009


Red Bull press release:

A rather too sensational start to the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season saw Sturla Fagerhaug claim victory even though he crashed heavily and was half a lap behind the leading pack. The 17 year old Norwegian benefited from a restart following a 2 rider crash and pulled through to win an incredible 6 lap race 2 ahead of Mathew Scholtz and Danny Kent.

It was 16 year old South African Scholtz who rocketed away from the initial start into a 5 second lead only to run off the track when the extremely blustery wind took his front wheel away. He regained the track to cross the line 8th as the race was stopped. Featuring strongly in the first race and thus lining up for the restart in 2nd place the 15 year old Briton Kent was in the hunt for the win again after the restart.

Fagerhaug lined up at the back of the grid but with Scholtz unable to make the break-away that he did first time the battle that the South African had with 16 year old Frenchman Nelson Major and the rest of a 10 man lead pack slowed the race pace. That was all the help that Fagerhaug needed and he charged through.

Outbraking 2 or 3 riders a time into some corners Fagerhaug was unstoppable and finally stole the lead on the last lap. “When I crashed in the first day I thought it was going to be the worst day of my life. I couldn’t believe it when the race was restarted but you never want to see anyone get hurt so none of us were happy about it.”

“I’d made such a mess of the first start when I let out the clutch and the rear tyre slid sideways I just made sure I didn’t do it again. I was determined to get some good points and I saw the pack was not getting away. I started to realise that I really could get a good result but I never thought of winning it until the last lap when I saw I could do it,” concluded Fagerhaug.

It was the nasty fall of 15 year old Briton Harry Stafford that stopped the first race. He was right in the battle for the lead when the bike slid suddenly and highsided him right in front of the following pack, the front wheel of Florian Marino’s bike clipped the fallen rider and the 15 year old Frenchman also went down. Marino walked away but Stafford was taken by ambulance to hospital with a broken collarbone and severe concussion.

Scholtz had good reason not to try and repeat his attempted run-away in the restarted race. “The wind got under my bike and pushed the front wheel away in the first race. It was even worse after the restart and I had to make sure it didn’t happen again. I couldn’t believe it when Sturla caught us. One minute I looked behind and Danny was there then suddenly on the last lap… it was Sturla.”

Scholtz actually thought that the board said it was the second to last lap as did Kent. “I thought there was another lap to go,” said the Briton. “Still it was a great race and I’ll just have to see if I can go and win the race tomorrow.”

Fourth man home and strongly featuring throughout the two races was 14 year old Swede Alex Kristiansson. “I enjoyed myself so much, I really had fun. I wanted to get on the podium but it didn’t work out on the last lap, I’ll have to do it tomorrow.”

Similarly hoping for a better result in Sunday’s race, pole man Daijiro Hiura ended Saturday with no points as he crashed after pulling through to second following a mediocre start in the first race. “The wind was so hard, it just took my front wheel away,” explained the 14 year old Japanese who was unable to restart because of the damage to his KTM RC125.

Note: Josh Hook was top Aussie in fifth, just 0.646sec off of victory, with Dylan Mavin 18th and Arthur Sissis not finishing.