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Youngsters get ready for MotoGP Academy

Youngsters get ready for MotoGP Academy

Youngsters get ready for MotoGP Academy

Joshua Sommer, Meik Minnerop, Bradley Smith, Daniel Webb and Ion Garrido began their preparations for the MotoGP Academy last week with a medical examination in Barcelona.

The five teenagers, who will be joined by one more Spanish youngster to be announced shortly, are the first riders to be selected for the new initiative created by Dorna Sports in order to uncover new racing talent of different nationalities.

Accompanied by project director Alberto Puig, the youngsters were at the Blume Residency in Barcelona for the first assessment of their strength and resistance and the former 500cc rider said it was a key stage of their development.

"Obviously the riders need to have the right physical characteristics to ride, they must be smart, talented and determined," said Puig, who discovered current 250cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa in a similar scheme.

"This is a very important project for Dorna and very interesting for the riders who have been selected. I am happy because we can give these young men everything they need to compete and go a long way."

After undergoing their medical last Thursday the riders were taken to the technical headquarters where their kitted Honda machines are being prepared for the Spanish Championship and on Friday they paid a visit to Dorna, where they were handed a training programme to follow in their home countries.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the riders and they were happy to share their excitement at the experience. "When I got the call from Dorna I thought "Why me? How do they know me? How did they find me?" said 15-year-old German Joshua Sommer. "Obviously I'm delighted to have been chosen." Meanwhile, 13-year-old Daniel Webb is hoping he can one day fill the void of British riders in the MotoGP World Championship. "I'm really happy because it's a unique opportunity for us," he said. "Hopefully one day we can make it to MotoGP, although I know we will have to work hard to get there."

Ion Garrido, who comfortably won the recent edition of the Movistar Junior Cup, added: "I'm really excited about this project. We're all very enthusiastic about it and hopeful of getting some good results in the Spanish Championship.

"To get to MotoGP a rider has to be well prepared physically and mentally, be a fighter and have the means to get that. You have to be strong and well prepared to ride those bike."

MotoGP, 2005

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