Red Bull Rookie Kornfiel triumphs on wet Sachsenring2009-07-18 10:30
Jakub Kornfiel rode a masterly race from the front row of the grid to chequered flag on Saturday to score his first race victory in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and narrowing the gap between him and championship standings leader Sturla Fagerhaug.
Fagerhaug fell victim to the rain sodden Sachsenring circuit in Germany, skidding off the track before rejoining the race at the back of the field. The 17-year old Norwegian was able to salvage four championship points with his twelfth place finish and still holds a 25-point lead in the championship.
Fagerhaug was by far not the only rider who came unstuck on the slippery surface. Also down in the final two laps was Britain's Danny Kent, the pole sitter who until then looked certain to take second place, leaving the minor place to 16-year-old South African Mathew Scholtz. American Jake Gagne was third while the courageous Kent scrambled back on his bike and finished sixth.
Jakub Kornfiel: "I got in front at the start and I just felt great, the bike and the tyres were perfect. It rained all day but stopped before the race so we started to get a dry line and I could just go quicker and quicker. I watched my pit board and saw that my gap was just getting bigger and bigger so I didn't worry and for me it was an easy race."
Matthew Scholtz conceded he had had his share of luck in Saturday's race. "There were a lot of guys crashing and that helped me. I got in front of Danny going onto the last lap but he passed me again right at the end. I couldn't believe it when his bike went sideways at the last corner and there was the flag, I was second."
Jake Gagne admitted he was also one of the lucky ones in a race that took down eight riders, but thankfully with no serious injuries. "It was pretty slippery out there. I just kept riding it as hard as I could and staying out of trouble. Then I started seeing the guys crashing and without me doing too much I was getting higher up the places, I didn't expect to get on the podium but I'll take it!"
Sturla Fagerhaug also paid tribute to the win by the young Czech racer. "Jakub made such a great started and raced away while everyone else was so slow in the opening laps. I had to work my way through and by the time I got to second in lap two he had a big lead (3.5 seconds). I pushed hard to catch him and I guess I pushed too hard because I was catching him and I had plenty of laps to do it in. I high-sided in lap five and just got back to the bike as quickly as I could. I lost a lot of time and it took me a few laps to get back to riding OK. The right hand side of the bike was quite damaged, the footrest broken and the exhaust bent, lucky there are not too many right handers but it was hard going."
1. Jakub Kornfiel, Czech Republic, KTM, 30:22.514
2. Matthew Scholtz, South Africa, KTM, 30:34.309
3. Jake Gagne, USA, KTM, 30:41.921
4. Daijiro Hiura, Japan, 30:47.661
5. Florian Marino, France, 30:49.539
12. Sturla Fagerhaug, Norway 31:35.104 (championship leader)
World Championship Standings
Sturla Fagerhaug, Norway, 99 points
Jakub Kornfiel, Czech Republic, 74
Daijiro Hiura, Japan, 65
Danny Kent, Britain, 60
Matthew Scholtz, South Africa, 55
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story