KTM RIDER ANDREA MIGNO TAKES CAREER FIRST MOTO3 PODIUM AT ASSEN

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Andrea Migno in fact crossed the line in second place after a photo finish with Bagnaia but race officials then bumped him down to third after what they deemed was an illegal overtaking move in the final straight. Migno’s teammate Romano Fenati was a race leader for much of the 22-lap contest and finished fourth. Nicolo Bulega, the third member of the VR46 squad crossed the line in seventh. KTM riders Joan Mir and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Bo Bendsneyder, competing on his home circuit, were 8-9 for what was Bendsneyder’s best ever result.

Migno passed Fenati in the closing stages of the race and looked a winner with just 200 meters to the line. Speaking after the race he said: “With 200 meters to go to the checkered flag I was at 120%. I passed on the curb in the last corner and I took a risk because I braked very strong. I’m very happy because I was fast all weekend and I feel I have been strong. This podium is very important for me and for my team. I work very hard and I never give up.”

The race, which was tightly fought throughout and for the first two thirds between a group of 13 riders separated by just two seconds, took a dramatic turn in the 16th lap. The lead constantly changed back and forth between about five riders and championship leader Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM Ajo was a major podium contender throughout. But then he almost lost control of his KTM RC250 GP after a brief, too close encounter with Migno. Binder made an impressive save but ran off the track onto the wet grass and rejoined the race back at 13th place. Returning to the fray with wet and muddy tires, the South African then had to ride out the last six laps with caution and finally finished in 12th place, just over 12 seconds off the winning pace. Binder still salvaged four points and advances to a 48-point lead in the championship, now at its half way mark. It was the first time this season that he has not finished on the podium.

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 1

In desperately slippery conditions pole man Raúl Fernández won a shortened Race 1 at Assen. The 15-year-old Spaniard had already settled into a nice rhythm at the head of the field when the chasing pack of three all slid off together. Eight seconds behind, Marc Garcia and Ai Ogura took second and third.

While those around him made mistakes Fernández rode the perfect race. “From the start it felt strange but from the second or third lap I found my rhythm and was comfortable on the bike. After halfway I knew that I had a big lead and when it started to rain more I used my head and took it easy. With more rain the good feeling was gone, it was a lot more slippery and I couldn’t brake or accelerate as hard. It is great to have my first win here, I love the track and it was a hard race. I dedicate the win to Luis Salom and his family,” added the Madrid native who moved into third place in the championship chase.

UPDATE: Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 2

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With pole position and two wins, 15-year-old Spaniard Fernández demonstrated perfect mastery of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in the most tricky conditions at the Dutch TT. He was chased home by Ayumu Sasaki and Rory Skinner as local hero Walid Soppe slid off while leading on the last lap.

While the crowd groaned, Fernández couldn’t believe his good fortune. “I was going to be second,” he explained. “When Walid got ahead I started chasing him but I was thinking of the points and when I realised that I was well ahead of Sasaki on the last lap I relaxed, no point in taking any chances.”

The Rookies Cup continues at the Sachsenring on July 16th and 17th with races 5 and 6 of the 13.

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