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|10-05-2015, 05:40 PM||#1|
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2015 KTM RC Cup World Finals: MotoAmerica Riders Fare Well At Silverstone
The MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup racers who ventured to Great Britain, October 2-4, did their National Series proud by putting two different riders on the podium in the two thrilling KTM RC Cup World Finals races at the Silverstone Circuit in East Midlands.
The North Americans were led in their battle against the world's best KTM RC Cup racers by Braeden Ortt, the 15-year-old Canadian who ventured to England fresh off his third-place finish in the MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Championship. Ortt put his RC 390 on the podium in both races, finishing third on Saturday and second on Sunday to end up third overall in the World Championship. Ortt was just .008 of a second from winning Sunday's final after coming up just .450 of a second from victory on Saturday. Hayden Schultz, who finished fourth in the 2015 MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Series, was also on the podium on Sunday after finishing a close third.
"This race was very close, much closer than Saturday," said Ortt, who was racing with broken bones in his right hand after crashing during practice in the MotoAmerica finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park, after Sunday's race. "Unfortunately, there were a few more crashes. Hayden (Schultz) redeemed himself. It always makes me proud to see North America represented well."
Ortt had a plan for the race, he said, but "instincts kicked in and I completely abandoned my plan. What I didn't plan for was getting stuffed in the very last corner. I thought I won so I was super pumped. That was a bit of a disappointment, but I can't complain about two podiums and third overall in the World Championship."
MotoAmerica racers Braeden Ortt (left) and Hayden Schultz (right) flank KTM RC Cup World Finals race-two winner and World Champion Dijm Ulrich. Photo: Double Red
Sunday's race was the closest of the two with the top 10 separated by just .866 of a second.
Schultz started Sunday's race from pole position after recording the fastest lap in Saturday'sfinale. But he didn't take advantage of his starting position.
"I was fifth or so going into the first turn," he said. "Down the straightaway, there was a big drafting battle. Luckily I was able to avoid all the bikes and bodies flying around."
But, as he did the day before, Schultz eventually found the lead.
"I wasn't sure how that last lap was going to go," he said. "I ended up third on the back straightaway and was able to draft Braeden and lead out of the last turn. I got passed, but I ended up on the podium so I can't complain."
After finishing fifth in Saturday's race, Anthony Mazziotto didn't complete a lap on Sunday, the New Jersey resident getting hit from behind. Unfortunately, the 15 year old suffered three broken fingers in the incident.
"I had a lot of fun, and hopefully next year we can move up and ride something bigger, like an (Yamaha) R6 or a (Suzuki) Gixxer 600," he said despite the setback. "Superstock 600 with MotoAmerica is the plan. Maybe the KTM again, as well."
MotoAmerica's KTM RC Cup Champion Gage McAllister crashed out of Saturday's race but ended up 13th on Sunday after starting from the ninth row of the grid. He was just 1.6 seconds behind race-winner Ulrich.
"I just wanted to make it through the first few laps and continue my push toward the front," McAllister said. "It was working. Halfway through the race, I found myself at the back part of the front group.
The fifth rider in the MotoAmerica group was Justin McWilliams, but the 22 year old ended up crashing out of both races.
"I don't know if I was off line, where there was less grip, leaned over too far, or too hard on the brakes," he said about Sunday's tumble. "This stuff happens. I just have to come back next season and do better."
Saturday's race was won in impressive fashion by 13-year-old Sean Kelly with the Floridian backing up that result with a close fourth on Sunday. Kelly was representing Mexico in the race after competing in that country's 2015 RC Cup Series because he was too young to meet MotoAmerica's minimum age of 14 for the KTM RC Cup.
"In America, you have to be 14 to race (in MotoAmerica's KTM RC 390 Cup class)," Kelly explained following the podium ceremony on Saturday. "We saw an opportunity in Mexico, where you only have to be 13."
World Finals Race 1
1. Dijm Ulrich (NED)
2. Braeden Ortt (USA)
3. Hayden Schultz (USA)
4. Sean Kelly (MEX)
5. Kevin Keyes (GBR)
6. Cameron Fraser (GBR)
7. Lee Hindle
8. James Nagy (GBR)
9. Patrik Pulkkinen (FIN)
10. Joep Overbeeke (NED)