Last corner drama gave Bo Bendsneyder the victory it had denied him yesterday as the 16-year-old Dutchman took Race 2 at Brno ahead of Spaniards Óscar Gutiérrez and Marc García.
Going into the last corner it looked as though the win would be decided between 18-year-old Frenchman Enzo Boulom and Spanish 14-year-old Raúl Fernández but the pair clashed, went wide and Bendsneyder was perfectly positioned to charge across the line first with Boulom fourth and Fernández seventh.
It was a thrilling race from first lap to last as Saturday's winner Fabio Di Giannantonio got another great start from pole and set out to make it a double victory. That ended at the third corner when the Italian had the KTM RC 250 R slide and flick him off. "It was simple," the 16-year-old later explained. "I made a mistake, no one to blame but myself."
"I saw Fabio fall," said Bendsneyder. "I realised that I didn't have to take any chances in the race, just pick up some good points and that would work for the championship." Going into the race he had just an eleven point advantage despite having won the first five races of the season.
The fourteen lap race settled into an eight man battle for the lead with the order changing at every corner and though Bendsneyder led he could not get away. "I wasn't so happy with the bike yesterday so we made some changes but we didn't go the right way so I was still struggling and I was lucky that I didn't have to race Fabio."
As the lead changed no one had a clear advantage even though the pace was almost half second slower than Race 2. It was all going to come down to the last laps. "I was at the front early," explained 16-year-old Gutierrez. "Then I decided to sit back a bit and watch the others to see where they were quickest. Then over the last few laps I pushed and got the lead but I couldn't get away and they had my slipstream on the last lap and I couldn't stay in front."
Confident after his third on Saturday, Fernández looked impressive and had worked his way to the front. Similarly Boulom was doing an excellent job and when they pounced on Gutierrez it looked as though we would have a new winner. But they both needed the same piece of road.
"I braked early at the last corner," grinned Bendsneyder, "and they braked late. They went wide and I went through. That's great news for the Championship, another 25 points." He now has a 36 point advantage over Di Giannantonio. Gutierrez is third and Garcia fourth.
"Another hard race," admitted 15-year-old Garcia. "We changed the bike after yesterday and I also changed my tactics. In Race 1 I was pushing at the front and I made a couple of mistakes. This time I stayed back in the group and waited until the end to push. Third is OK but Silverstone will be better."
Earlier in the day, ex Rookie Johann Zarco won the Moto2 GP to extend his championship lead. In Moto3 ex Rookies Niccolo Antonelli, Enea Bastianini and Brad Binder swept the podium while fellow ex Rookie Danny Kent still leads the series from Bastianini.
Seven races remain in the 2015 Rookies Cup, the next two are at Silverstone on August 29th & 30th.