Red Bull Rookies Cup, Assen, Race 1: Can Öncü clear-cut win

The young Turkish rider Can Öncü won Race 1 in Assen by a large margin, while the other two positions on the podium went to Artigas and Yamanaka.

After he got the pole position on Friday (his 4th so far in this Championship, a result that mirrors Zarco’s and Salom’s ones back in their rookies’ days), Can Öncü also got today’s victory in Race 1. He clearly had no real opponents and led the whole round in Assen. Behind him, the battle for the other positions on the podium was really harsh, with Xavier Artigas and Ryusei Yamanaka winning over Deniz Öncü, who was left out. On Sunday, July 1st there will be Race 2, again on redbulltv.com, starting at 5.30 PM with the live streaming starting 10 minutes before the race.

The first problem appeared at the beginning of the warm-up lap: Jespersen’s bike stopped, and the rider had to be helped to take his KTM back to the pit lane, where his team tried to make it start again. Amazing kick off for Can Öncü, but the same can’t be said of his twin brother Deniz, who immediately lost his 2nd place to Kelly. The situation changed rapidly, except for the poleman’s position that remained unchanged all through the race despite a small initial mistake. He managed to leave a large margin between him and his opponents, while an intense battle took place behind him among his brother, Yamanaka, Kelly, Salac, and Artigas. Hernandez suffered a bad crash, as he hit the rider ahead of him and was literally thrown out of his bike: the rider was still conscious, but he was immediately carried to the Medical Center for checkups. In addition, Paavilainen got a 1.8 seconds penalty at the end of the Race for going out of track too many times.

In the meanwhile, Can Öncü was racing solo. He has been the undiscussed leader of the whole Race 1 here in Assen. On the contrary, the positions behind him had to be decided at the photofinish, with Xavier Artigas and Ryusei Yamanaka who got the better of Deniz Öncü on the last turn, stepping on the podium in this order. Filip Salac got to the 5th place ahead of Sean Kelly, while Adrian Carrasco arrived just 25 thousandths before Carlos Tatay. Barry Baltus, the youngest rider on track, crossed the finish line 9th with Adrian Huertas closing the top ten just ahead of the Dutch rider Sasha de Vits. There was only one Italian rider in this race, Pasquale Alfano, arrived 18th, while the other, Matteo Patacca, couldn’t make it to this race because of a training injury.

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