2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Round 2 – Grand Prix of Styria
Images by Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool
The second weekend at Red Bull Ring for the Red Bull Rookies Cup proved a mixed outing for Billy Van Eerde, who improved on last weekend’s qualifying, only to receive a three-second penalty in Race 1, before high-siding out of fourth position with just three laps to go in Race 2.
Pedro Acosta made it a clean sweep of all four Red Bull Ring races, although competition proved steep, with less than a tenth of a second separating the winner from Daniel Holgado in Race 1, and Ivan Ortola and Daniel Munoz in Race 2.
Friday at Red Bull Ring saw Pedro Acosta claim pole heading into the weekend’s races, topping the ranks of the KTM RC 250 R riders, with just a second separating the top-10, with Daniel and David Muñoz next fastest. Australian Billy van Eerde qualified eighth, improving on the previous weekend, 0.799-seconds off Acosta, sharing, “That’s better than last weekend, last week I was 20th on the grid so I’m in much better shape to try and get to the front and on the podium where I was last year.”
Another brilliant ride and perfect last lap from 16-year-old Spaniard Pedro Acosta laid claim to the first Styrian Grand Prix victory at the Red Bull Ring. The same four riders filled the top positions as last weekend, although Daniel Holgado jumped in front of David Muñoz this time with David Alonso fourth again.
As usual a huge pack of KTM RC 250 Rs battled at the front of the third Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season but it shook out to just six by the last lap.
Acosta settled it at the second tight right hander letting the opposition out-brake themselves, proving it’s not going to be easy because while Acosta has a year of Rookies Cup experience the chasing pack are in their first season and learning all the time.
Acosta took the Race 1 win from Daniel Holgado by 0.053, with David Munoz in third to complete the podium. Ivan Ortola and Daniel Munoz completed the top five.
18-year-old Australian Billy van Eerde did manage to lead mid race, “At least that’s something. I’m happy about that and happy that we have the pace to run in the front of the group but late in the race I lost it and couldn’t get it back. I still need to do more and be able to be at the front all the way.”
So keen was van Eerde to get back to the front that he exceeded track limits too often and a post-race three-second penalty dropped him from eighth where he crossed the line to 11th and just five points.
It was by the narrowest of margins that Pedro Acosta completed his clean sweep of Red Bull MotoGP victories in Austria in Race 2. The 16-year-old just scraped his final victory from the hands of Daniel Muñoz at the final turn when the 14-year-old ran wide and dropped to third behind Iván Ortolá for another all Spanish Podium. David Alonso and David Salvador took fourth and fifth.
As in all four races at the Red Bull Ring over these two weekends a hungry pack of KTM RC 250 Rs fought for the lead with the top 15 being covered by less than two seconds for much of the 17 laps.
“I don’t have words to describe how I feel about this best ever start to a racing season for me. It was another very hard race, they have all been hard. With each race the guys seem to get more and more aggressive in the opening laps so I really had to keep out of trouble. In the middle of the race as the rear tyre dropped off a bit I felt more and more comfortable though, I could slide the bike into the corner and hold the slide on acceleration so that felt good and gave me the confidence at the end. I tried to take the lead in the right place again but this time I had no advantage and had to do the right thing through the last corners.”
Australian Billy van Eerde was once again in the mix, leading the race at one point and running fourth with just three laps to go when he high-sided out of Turn 3, ending his weekend on a sour note after feeling much more confident on the bike for the second race.
Billy van Eerde
“Friday was another difficult day having a few problems with the setup during the free practices. Luckily for qualifying I could find an ok setting to get eighth position in the grid. Race 1 I managed to get to the lead at one point but made a few costly mistakes and lost the front group to finish eighth. Unfortunately I got a three second penalty also after the race for exceeding track limits which ended up placing me 11th. Race 2 we changed a lot on the bike and my feeling was so much better. I was at the front the whole way and with three laps to go I high sided out of turn 3 in P4. I’m disappointed but happy with the improvement throughout these two weekends at the Red Bull Ring.”
2020 Red Bull Rookies – Round 2 Results