Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup heads to Moorland Aragon this weekend for the penultimate round after a late season extension.
That last corner, the late braking, the multiple lines, fast in slow out, too fast out, track limits. So many thrilling Rookies races at Motorland Aragon have been decided there on the final lap.
Traditionally the Cup season has ended here too but with the cancellation of the GP in Finland the Rookies season will now end in Valencia so there are still four races and 100 points to be contested. While 16-year-old Spaniard José Rueda's 19 point lead over 17-year-old Dutchman Collin Veijer is enviable, any of the top nine in the points table can still win the Cup.
Rueda has proven himself more than capable of consistently high scoring with three wins, six podiums and only a single race of the ten run to date where he finished outside the top ten. That was 11th in the wet race one in Mugello, a race where anyone who finished did well.
So our Cup leader is hardly prone to errors but then neither is arch rival Veijer, who was 15th in that same wet race, also his lowest result of the season. He has two wins and five podiums on his 2022 score card so far.
If those two lose their way in the remaining four races then there are those who will make the best of the situation. Angel Piqueras, the 15-year-old Spaniard, is very much on form with two wins and a third in the last three races.
Thai 21-year-old Tatchakorn Buasri bounced back from injury with a third and a win in Spielberg and Màx Quiles, the 14-year-old Spaniard, while inconsistent, is already a double winner and only lost the win last time out when he exceeded track limits at the final corner. Those three may not consider that they have a great chance of making the points to wrest the Cup from Rueda and Veijer but they are certainly out to win races.
The rest of the field have yet to stand on the top step but Rico Salmela, Harrison Voight, Luca Lunetta, Casey O'Gorman and Filippo Farioli have all made the lower steps and have their sights set on at least one win before the end of the year. So when it comes down to jostling for slipstreaming position on the back straight of the final lap, the plan is not so much to lead into the last corner but to lead out.