News 17 Apr 2010

MotoGP: Red Bull Rookies Hook and Nowlan test at Valencia

Aussies Josh Hook and Brody Nowlan in action at Valencia.

Aussies Josh Hook and Brody Nowlan in action at Valencia. Image: Red Bull/Gold and Goose.

Three days of testing in Valencia prior to the start of the fourth Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season gave the teenagers plenty to think about with a variety of cold and wet conditions, with Australian Josh Hook riding to an impressive fourth fastest lap on the second day of the test.

By the end of a cold, but dry, Thursday, Japanese 15-year-old Daijiro Hiura was fastest ahead of 16-year-old Briton Danny Kent and Spaniard Daniel Ruiz who turned 18 on the final day.

“It’s been a good three days for me. I was happy on the bike right from the start,” commented Hiura. “I was particularly happy with Tuesday because I got a good feeling for riding in the wet. Last year it was taking me too long to get up to speed in the rain so I am a lot happier after the way Tuesday went.

“Then for the last day today we hardened up the suspension a bit front and rear and I think we’ve got a good setting. I’m really looking forward to Jerez, it’s a track I enjoy and I think I am ready for it.”

Kent was not to upset to be second, 0.35 behind, quick in every session and that was his intention for the test.

“That was what I was looking for, I wanted to be consistently fast,” he said. “That was my goal for each session and it will be my goal for the season – consistency. That is what was missing last year. I knew that Daijiro was likely to put in a quick lap in that last session, it’s what he did at last year’s test.”

Ruiz was enjoying his birthday and 0.52 slower than Hiura.

“The race simulation at the end of today was fun. I thought that Daijiro was going to get away, I made a bit of a mistake on the first lap but then I settled in and went quite well, I could keep up okay,” he explained. “We’ve done some good work on the bike through the test, changed the compression damping on the rear and the sliding that I had early on is gone so I think it is working well now. Jerez is my favourite track of the season so I can’t wait for the first race.”

Heading into his second Rookies season 14-year-old South African Brad Binder was fourth fastest and quite clear about what was making his life easier.

“I’ve grown since last year, I was only 37kg last year, now I’m 50 so I am not carrying any weight penalty and that makes it so much easier for me to ride the bike,” Binder said. “I am enjoying it more and really looking forward to the first race.”

Of the newcomers, French 15-year-old Alan Techer was the quickest and seventh fastest overall.

“I had the chance to spend a day on a KTM before I came here so I had an idea what to expect, it is quite different to the other bikes I have ridden but after three days I am very happy with it,” Techer said. “We changed the rear suspension slightly on day one but apart from that I have just been riding it and enjoying it.

“I am very happy and looking forward to the first race, Jerez is a new track for me so I have to learn but I’m happy with the bike already so that’s a great start.”

Australia’s Hook was fourth fastest on the Tuesday in wet conditions, joined by fellow Aussie and series rookie Brody Nowlan at the test and for the entire season in 2010.

Racing starts at the Grand Prix in Jerez on 1-2 May and the blow by blow story can be followed on Twitter once practice gets under way on 30 April.