Qualifying was tough, pole was a 1:46.3 and Anthony’s fastest had been a flat 1:49, almost 3 seconds behind. Yes, this was the first time he’d ever seen the track, and pole had been set by local-boy Bastaini, but 3 seconds was a long time back.
The race was going to be difficult but Anthony was ready. As the race got started he did his best to make up positions. As the laps progressed he continued to make up positions and began to clock fast lap-times. He put a string of high 1:47s, with his fastest a 1:47.8… that’s only 1.3 seconds off the lap record in only the second day he’d been on the track.
As the race progressed, he climbed as high as 13th place, well in the points of the race. He led a chasing group of 4 riders, which included 2 veterans of the cup. On the final lap Anthony was 13th as he crossed the line. He knew he just needed to maintain his gap of 3 tenths of a second. Out of T7 he said he ran wide and into the dirt. He said he felt the bike sliding and thought he’d lost some time out of that corner. To make it up, he said he thought “I’ll brake later into T8 and make up the difference”. However, it turned out he’d actually not lost any time into T8, as he said he needed to up-shift before the corner because the bike was running out of gear… meaning he had more speed than he thought. Anyway, as he braked later into T8 he ran a little wide and was passed by one rider. He stayed tight to the rider as they flew down the back straight. In the draft another rider passed him, placing Anthony 15th.
This time however, Anthony said he thought to himself he would not let them go. He stuck close to them and made a move for 14th with 3 corners to go. Into the final corner he said he got on the gas harder than ever and dragged 13th place to the line to beat him by .004 of a second.
Being only 1.3 seconds of pole after only being on the track a total of 4 times (FP1, FP2 and QP on Friday, race on Saturday), is very good and he’s very excited about the final two rounds at Aragon.
Here are some race-action photos thanks to Carrie who was traveling from the US.
After a long summer break from Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Action, Anthony made his way to Brno.
Brno is a track in the middle of a forest. When we arrived, we thought we were lost. There is nothing but trees and small roads. That is, until you reach the track. It’s basically a racing oasis in a dessert of trees. Just awesome.
Though the calendar called for only one race (normally Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup weekends are double-headers), Anthony rode at his best. He qualified 18th, his best yet. He got a great start and even made up several places going into T1. Unfortunately, a fellow rider crashed in front of him, and to avoid hitting and injuring the rider, Anthony checked up and slowed down. This also meant he lost touch with the group.
He was last after the incident, but crawled himself to a respectable 16 place.
Silverstone is next weekend, a double-header, and since Anthony has visited this track, he’s confident he’ll do even better.
We’re in Detroit waiting for our connecting flight to SFO after a tough weekend at the Sachsenring. Practice and qualifying didn’t go as we expected and Anthony started 21st. For race 1, on Saturday, he did his best and finished 16th. He requested a few changes to the bike and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup mechanics updated it for Sunday morning.
Since there isn’t a warm-up session, he pushed during the sighting lap and confirmed he liked it better. Again he did his best starting from 21st and manged to finished 16th in the 19-lap race.
We are off for over a month until Brno. Talk to you soon.
Anthony’s race was at the end of the day. This allowed us to go and hang out with Anthony’s longest sponsors, Bud from BayAreaRidersForum.com. He and his buddies had seats at T15 and we got to watch the Moto3 race from there.
For the second race, the qualifying positions from Friday remain, so even though he finished 14th in race #1, he still had to start 21st in race #2.
The race was interrupted by an accident on lap #1. Yui, the lone girl in the series had an accident entering the final corner before the back straight. Recent reports have her as being OK and without major injuries.
The race was cut down from 12 laps to 8 making it a true sprint race. In this race, Anthony improved his lap times and learned a bunch. He’s excited for Jerez, in two-weeks time.
The first race of the season is done. Anthony got off to a tough start after qualifying 21st position in a grid of 24. However, it was important to continue improving and enjoy the race. Anthony did that and though he climbed as high as 13th at one point, he crossed the line in 14th place.
Tomorrow is round #2 of the series. The race will be broadcast live on redbull.tv at 1:30PST.