American leads MotoGP Rookies Cup

16-year-old Beach ahead with two races remaining

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 14, 2008
JD Beach gained the lead in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup with his first victory of the season at Sachsenring, July 12.

The Washington state native edged out Daijiro Hiura by 0.201 seconds for the win while Matthew Hoyle completed the podium a half second behind Beach. Daniel Kartheininger missed out on the podium by just a second. The top four racers were locked in a battle for most of the race, swapping positions several times.

“I couldn’t get away from the guys and then later in the race the bike was sliding around quite a lot and I was just keeping it together,” says Beach. “I saw three laps to go and then the next time round it was one lap and I thought I’d better get going. I was in front and just put my head down. I’d been thinking that if it did come down to the last lap Cameron (Beaubier) took the lead with just two corners to go last year and I could try to do something like that but I didn't have to.”

After five runner-up finishes, JD Beach finally earned his first win of the season, bumping him into the series lead.Beach was able to capitalize on the misfortunes of chief rival, Luis Salom, who fell twice during the race. The first incident occurred at the beginning of the race when Norwegian rider Sturla Fagerhaug crashed out, taking Salom with him. The Spanish teen was able to remount his KTM RC 125 and rejoin the race but was forced to retire after a second spill a few laps later. Salom and Fagerhaug entered the race in first and third place, respectively, in the overall standings.

“I got off the line well for once and went into the first corner at the same speed I normally do but I guess with only three right-handers the tire wasn't hot enough after the warm up laps and with the track colder than yesterday, it just slid away,” says Fagerhaug. “I’m sorry for taking out Luis.”

With Salom out of the race, Beach leapt past him in the standings and now holds a 15-point lead. Under the series rules, however, each rider’s worst race is dropped from the final totals, so Beach’s lead is really only seven points, pending the results of the final two races Aug. 16 in Brno, Czech Republic.

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup top five standings

Pos. Rider Age Country Points
1. JD Beach 16 U.S.A. 144
2. Luis Salom 16 Spain 129
3. Sturla Fagerhaug 16 Norway 97
4. Daijiro Hiura 13 Japan 96
5. Nelson Major 15 France 79