Van Crugten triumphs in Sachsenring stunner

07 July 2024

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.

As we look ahead to Round 6 in Assen 16-18 August the cup is very much taking shape with Van Crugten, leading the Cup with a 26-point margin over Kitzbichler in second, with a further 20 points to Nativi in third. But, this is motorcycle racing, and with a hundred points still in play, anything is possible!

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