Jake Gagne set an unbeatable pole time in the first qualifying session to dominate the build up to the German Grand Prix round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at the Sachsenring. The 16 year old Californian heads second place man Alex Kristiansson by 0.146 seconds and the 16 year old Swede was only a tenth ahead of the Spanish 18 year old Cup points leader Daniel Ruiz and 15 year old Italian Kevin Calia who complete the front row of the grid.Gagne’s first session time was untouched but the American was not just sitting in the shade while the others charged round in the heat that hit 38 degrees in the first session. “In the second session I just didn’t get a clear lap when I wanted it, there always seemed to be a slower rider. The bike was good from the start today, we changed the rear suspension a little but otherwise nothing.”Not surprisingly the Assen winner is looking forward to the race and the possibility of his 2nd Rookies Cup victory even with the forecast thunderstorm.”I think we can run a pretty good race pace. We’ll see what the weather does but I’m not worried either way.”Kristiansson is also keen to get racing. “I think I can go a bit faster in the race, sure and it should be good. We softened the front suspension a bit because the bike wanted to run wide and then it was really good. We may change the rear a little for the race because it is sliding a bit now but otherwise it’s great.Ruiz is also happy with the bike set up and his front row position. “The day started badly because I was terrible in free practice, my lines were all over the place and I couldn’t concentrate. In qualifying I was determined to take the pressure off myself and told my uncle not to put out the pit board, I just wanted to ride. I also tried some tips that Gustl and Raul told me and they helped as well so I’m happy now with the bike and myself.”
Completing the front row is 15 year old Italian Kevin Calia. “That’s great, I enjoyed that session, the bike is good and I feel happy, I think it can be a great race.”Italian 16 year old Alejandro Pardo chased Ruiz round towards the end of the session and leapt to 5th ahead of 16 year old Briton Harry Stafford and 16 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous. With 7th place on the grid Vavrous was enjoying by far his best time on a Rookies KTM having recorded the 3rd fastest time in the 1st qualifying session. “It is actually not my favourite track but I got into a good rhythm in the first session and was really enjoying it. I couldn’t find the same rhythm in the 2nd session but I hope I can in the race, I just need to make a good start.”Completing the 2nd row of the grid is 15 year old Japanese Daijiro Hiura who was leading the Cup points tally until a DNF in the second race at Assen dropped him to 3rd, 12 points behind Ruiz. “I don’t know what the problem is, the bike is OK but I just couldn’t get the lap time,” he admitted.
A single second covers the top 11 riders including Danny Kent who lies 2nd in the Cup table by a single point and qualified 10th. “It’s not a good qualifying position but gearbox oil leaking onto the rear tyre in that session and I still wasn’t too slow so I guess I should be happy with that. I just need a good start in the race and go for it.”Saturday’s race can be seen live on www.redbull.com at 16.30 CET and Sunday’s at 15.35 CET. They are races 6 and 7 in the 10 race series.
Official Qualifying Classification
1. Jake Gagne (USA) 1 minute 31.074 seconds
2. Alexander Kristiansson (SWE) +0.146
3. Daniel Ruiz (ESP) +0.262
4. Kevin Calia (ITA) +0.373
5. Alejandro Pardo (ITA) +0.387
6. Harry Stafford (GBR) +0.391
7. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +0.608
8. Daijiro Hiura (JPN) +919
9. Brad Binder (RSA) +0.929
10. Danny Kent (GBR) +0.946