MotoGP Rookies: Brno preview

Beach holds lead entering double-header finale

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 14, 2008
The 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will be decided in a double-header Aug. 16 at the Masaryk Circuit in Brno, Czech Republic.

American JD Beach enters Brno with a 15-point cushion over Luis Salom of Spain. According to the series’ rules however, each racer’s worst race result is discounted from their season totals, trimming Beach’s lead to only seven points. With two races at Brno and 25 points going to the winner of each race, Beach will need to be in top form to claim the Rookies Cup.

The 16-year-old Washington State native started the 2008 season with five consecutive second-place finishes before going through a miniature slump with a fifth and an eighth place showing. He picked up his first victory on July 12 at Sachsenring in Germany. Beach’s eighth-place finish at last year’s Brno race was the highlight of his 2007 season which saw him finish 16th in the overall standings.

JD Beach can lock up the 2008 Rookies Cup at Brno.“I had my best result there last year and I am not going to put too much pressure on myself,” says Beach who has vastly improved this season.

Salom also had an excellent start to the 2008 season with four wins in his first five races. Like Beach, he then struggled at a pair of races in Donington Park and Assen. Salom, who turned 17 Aug. 7, lost the lead in the season standings after crashing out of the Sachsenring race.

“I think that I can win, Brno is a good track and I did OK there last year. I know I must win,” says Salom.

JD Beach (left) and Luis Salom (right) have been at the top of the standings all season.Norway’s Sturla Fagerhaug (97 points) and Japan’s Daijiro Hiura (96 points) sit third and fourth respectively. Each has a single Did Not Finish on their record which, once discounted, means Fagerhaug trails Beach by 39 points while Hiura is 40 points off of the lead. With 50 points up for grabs at Brno, the championship is still within reach for the two youths.

Scottish teen Deane Brown will make his return to the race track after completing his recovery from a broken leg suffered May 11 at a British Superbike series 125cc class race at Brands Hatch.

The top ten riders in the final standings will qualify to represent the MotoGP Rookies in the Riders Cup against the AMA U.S. Rookies. Only ten points separate riders eight through 14.

MotoGP Rookies top 15 standings
Pos. Rider Country Points
1st JD Beach U.S.A. 144
2nd Luis Salom Spain 129
3rd Sturla Fagerhaug Norway 97
4th Daijiro Hiura Japan 96
5th Nelson Major France 79
6th Daniel Ruiz Spain 50
7th Miguel Oliveira (guest rider) Portugal 58
8th Mathew Scholtz South Africa 52
9th Daniel Kartheininger Germany 48
10th Jakub Kornfeil Czech Republic 47
11th Markus Reiterberger Germany 44
12nd Deane Brown Great Britain 42
13rd Florian Marino France 42
14th Matthew Hoyle Great Britain 41
15th Cristian Trabalon Spain 26