RideFast Magazine June 2019

RobRidefast

SA's best motorcycle magazine

RACE COLUMN AIDAN LIEBENBERG

A POINT TO PROVE!

The first race of the 2019 Red Bull

MotoGP Rookies Cup season is already

done and dusted and I am quite satisfied

with the results I achieved.

After a challenging pre-season test at

Jerez, I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to

be in the points at the first round at Jerez. It

is definitely one of the best MotoGP races

and the atmosphere is incredible. We had 2

free practices’ and a qualifying on the Friday,

with race 1 on Saturday and race 2 on the

Sunday. Although I was not very happy

about my lap times during the test, the bike

setup was not too bad. I felt comfortable

from the first lap in FP1 and this was a big

relief for me. FP1 was a positive session, but

I battled to make an improvement in FP2.

We made a few changes to the bike before

qualifying and from the start of I was already

faster and improved my lap time from the

test. I qualified 14th, which was my best

qualifying result at the Rookies Cup so far.

Race 1 just did not go as planned.

I made a terrible start and lost a lot of

positions. I then had to overtake and fight

my way forward fast, because I knew that if I

did not tag onto the faster group they would

start to pull away. I made up the positions

lost quite quickly, but then I outbroke myself

at turn 6 and lost all those positions again. I

started fighting with that group and missed

out on the points.

We made a few changes on the bike for

race 2, which was a bit risky, but the bike

did not work well when riding a little bit more

aggressive and in a bunch. My start of race

2 was better and I managed to follow a few

faster riders, helping me to pull away from

the riders behind me. Thankfully the setup

changes worked better and race 2 was a

big improvement for me. The faster riders in

front of me started pulling away slowly, but I

pushed to try and stay with them the whole

race. It was not the most exciting race, but I

managed to finish in 15th place and to score

my first point!

The next race is Mugello and I will try my

best to improve my results there. We only

have 1 race in Mugello, but I will make the

most of it.

A big thanks to you all for the support!

80 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2019

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