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GP Week : Issue 4
When is young too young? Pos # Rider Nat Team Time 1 2 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 45:35.121 2 46 Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 45:38.004 3 48 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team 45:39.460 4 69 Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 45:45.263 5 65 Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 46:02.645 6 52 James Toseland GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 46:02.929 7 21 John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team 46:03.417 8 4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP Honda 46'03.570 9 56 Shinya Nakano JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 46:07.690 10 7 Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 46:10.212 11 1 Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 46:17.344 12 33 Marco Melandri ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 46:19.619 13 13 Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team 46:20.928 14 15 Alex De Angelis RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini 46:20.992 15 24 Toni Elias SPA Alice Team DUCATI 46:44.679 16 50 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alice Team Ducati 46:49.563 DNF 5 Colin Edwards USA Tech 3 Yamaha +22 laps DNF 14 Randy De Puniet FRA LCR Honda MotoGP +25 laps MOTOGP | Round 1 SPAIN Points – MotoGP: Pedrosa 41, Lorenzo 31, , Rossi 31, Stoner 30, Dovizioso 21, Toseland 20, Hayden 19, Capirossi 19, Hopkins 13, Nakano 10, Edwards 9. 250cc: Pasini 45, Kallio 41, Barbera 31, Takahashi 27, Debon 23, Loca Telli 16, Simon 14, Espargaro 14 Aoyama 13, Abraham 12. 125cc: Corsi 34, Bradl 29, Terol 26, Gadeo 25, Olive 20, Di Meglio 20, Redding 20, Smith 16, Nieto 11, Cortese 11. THE Red Bull Rookies Cup, which resumed for a second year at Jerez at the weekend, evokes some very mixed feelings, not all of them positive. There is a certain sense of disquiet when you see the participants. That’s easy enough to understand – some are just 13 years old, and look even younger. Even in leathers and helmet. Not just schoolkids – they are junior-school kids. And out they go, onto a real man’s race-track, in front of 100,000 manic Spanish fans, on 125cc KTMs that are barely slower than the full-scale GP 125s. The risks brings a tic to any father’s heart. How can it be right that these striplings should be sent out on this sort of a mission? Too young to vote, to drink, to have sex, or to have a bank account, why is it somehow okay that they can go racing in gthis fashion? Every protective instinct goes straight onto red alert. But there are other sides. These kids didn’t come from nowhere. All of them have previous experience, whether it’s schoolboy motocross or dirt track, or minimotos. If they weren’t racing here, they’d be racing somewhere else. Probably at a scrubby little track in a scrubby little event, with rudimentary facilities. Obviously it’s a million times better that they should do so here, with a doctor at every corner and a med-evac helicopter standing by. And why should one have these reservations, on behalf of others? We all respect and admire GP riders, who take these risks as part and parcel of their profession and their passion. Why is it okay for them, but not for the rookies? Wouldn’t the current GP riders be even better racers if they had had the same opportunity? But the professionals are adults. They have the right to decide. They can go to hell in a bucket if they like, as long as they’re enjoying the ride! The kids don’t know any better. But it’s their parents’ job and not ours to protect them from themselves. Better keep smiling, then, and enjoy the junior racing (and it is huge fun to watch). As long as nobody gets badly hurt … MIchAel ScOTT MotoGP editor o p in io n 35 M oto GP SPAIN >>