Road Racing

Northern Talent Cup: Kitzbichler and Van Crugten take a win each at the Sachsenring

Northern Talent Cup:
Kitzbichler and Van Crugten take a win each at the Sachsenring

The Northern Talent Cup headed to the Sachsenring for the fifth round of the season. Another exhilarating weekend of racing action from Northern Europe’s fastest young talents.

Race 1
In a 15-lap race in wet conditions, Tobias Kitzbichler took his second victory of the season on Saturday in Race 1 at the Sachsenring as he comprehensively blitzed the competition, finishing more than seven seconds ahead of rivals Antione Nativi (Racing Nativi Team) and Tom Rolin (Junior Black Knights). 

Saturday’s race 1 was delayed by more than an hour due to severe rain, but when the lights went out the sky was clear. Into the first corner, it was Belgian Rolin who took the holeshot ahead of his rivals. But, it wasn’t long before Kitzbichler overtook the leader and began building a gap at the front in a performance reminiscent of Round 1 at Assen where he did the same in similar conditions. 

As Kitzbichler stormed off into the distance, exorcising his DNF demons from Round 2 at the Sachsenring earlier in the season, the rest of the field was left to fight for the remaining two podium places. The chasing pack consisted of Rolin, Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy), Nativi and Alessandro Binder (Kiefer Racing), Levin Phommara (Phommara-Racing), and Ferre Fleerackers (Junior Black Knights), but it was Van Crugten and Rolin who were scrapping it out at the front, swapping places lap after lap.

As the race neared its end, with Kitzbichler far off in the distance, the chasing pack had been reduced to just four riders: Rolin, Van Crugten, Nativi, and Binder. Rolin and Van Crugten were still trading places, but Frenchman Nativi was playing it smart, keeping his powder dry for a last-lap penultimate corner overtake that caught his rivals by surprise and gave him the coveted second spot on the rostrum, ahead of Rolin in third, Van Crugten in fourth and Binder in fifth. 

Huge shout out to Valdemar Mellgren (Nordgren Racing), who started 18th on the grid, for claiming an incredible sixth-place finish ahead of friend and rival Richard Irmscher (Racingteam Irmscher) in seventh.

Race 2
The Northern Talent enjoyed a Sachsenring stunner on Sunday as fans were treated to some incredible racing beneath the Saxon sun. In a 16-lap race in dry conditions, it was the mighty Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) who ultimately prevailed ahead of rivals Tobias Kitzbichler (Racing Team Kitzbichler) and Tom Rolin (Junior Black Knights).

Polesitter Van Crugten was first into corner one after lights out, pursued by Race 1 winner Kitzbichler who swiftly overtook the Dutchman, only to lose the position moments later as the boy in orange refused to let the Austrian escape artist pull another fast one. Meanwhile, Cup contender Matteo Masili (Mass Sports Racing by JRP Motorsport), suffering a clutch issue at the start, found himself at the bottom of the pack by some margin. 

As the race progressed a huge lead group formed, with Kitzbichler, Van Crugten, and Rolin taking turns at the front. On lap three, returning JRP Academy replacement rider Julius Frellsen (Mass Sports Racing by JRP Motorsport), seeking redemption from a disappointing Race 1, started glowing red in the timesheets, indicating an incoming Dane. By lap six, it was his turn at the front. As the front group grew larger it could have been anyone’s race. Levin Phommara (Phommara Racing) was there, Ferre Fleerackers (Junior Black Knights), Antoine Nativi (Racing Nativi team), Richard Irmscher (Racingteam Irmscher) and Martin Vincze (VM Racing Team) too. 

On the final lap, 12 riders were within just over a second of one another, and it was anyone’s guess who’d win it. As they rounded the last turn in a tight procession it was the dauntless Dutchman who showed his class to prevail ahead of Kitzbichler and Rolin and take what could prove a crucial victory on the road to MotoGP™.

Rounding out the top seven was Phommara in fourth ahead of Frellsen and Fleerackers, with Nativi in seventh. The brave Lorenzo Pontillo (Junior Black Knights) retired on lap 12 with a mechanical problem, the rider escaping serious injury when his Honda caught fire. Rider OK.

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