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MotoGP Jerez: Skinner wins opening Red Bull Rookies race

Britain’s Rory Skinner has taken victory in the first Red Bull Rookies race at Jerez after a scrap with Ai Ogura was cut short by a reg flag.

The pair were set for an intense final lap in the first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season only to have the race stopped. Ogura was leading at the time but the results were taken at the end of lap 14 when Skinner was in front. Hence the 15-year-old Scot stood on top of the podium ahead of two 16-year-old Japanese with Kazuki Masaki having taken third.

Skinner had only qualified ninth and wasn’t helped by a first corner crash that split the field but he was quickly up to speed and reeled off a series of fastest laps as he closed down on fast starting Ogura and Masaki. He didn’t waste time in getting to the front and soon pulled clear.


“I had a good rhythm going and had in the back of my mind the thought that I would save the tyres a bit if I could but I didn’t really build a big enough advantage and the gap varied a bit, I made a couple of mistakes and I then knew that Ai was catching,” he said.

“I wasn’t worried because I knew I could go with him after he came past and do something on the last lap. In Rookies Cup you can’t really make a plan but if it had come down to the classic Jerez last corner that would have been OK.

“The bike was good, not perfect but it would be too much of a risk to change things and I think that I can bring something to it myself tomorrow.”

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