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Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup review

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup review

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup review

Whilst the premier class of MotoGP has been enjoying a short break before a run of three races in as many weekends, all eyes this week have been on the aspiring future stars of the World Championship as they took part in the selection process for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, with their fate to be decided shortly.

A field of 72 aspiring youngsters aged between 13 and 16, whittled down from a field of 200 in the pre-selection phase, came face to face again at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana on Monday for the first of three days of practice, in which they would be evaluated with the chance to compete in next year's Red Bull Rookies Cup, a competition running alongside seven European Grands Prix, up for grabs.

They would be assessed by a three-man selection panel, made up of Alberto Puig, Red Bull KTM team manager Harald Bartol and Academy Sporting Director Raul Jara, all keeping their eyes peeled for young riders with the required "x factor". The selection officially started at 8am on Monday, with an inscription and accreditation process held in the press room and a warm welcome from Alberto Puig and a member of the organisation. Puig explained the basic structure and purpose of the three day selection process to the riders and their families, aiming to alleviate any pressure from their young shoulders. "During this test you will have the chance to enjoy yourself onboard the bike, Just because you may not be chosen this time, it doesn't mean that you will not have another opportunity next year, nor that you will not be able to achieve your dream of becoming a rider," assured the manager of MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa.

On each of the three days the riders, divided into groups of six or seven, had 20 minutes to show their stuff at the circuit on a Metrakit 125cc bike, with the majority already having already had motorcycling experience of some form or other.

Amongst the family members present to watch the proceedings, a few familiar faces were in attendance. Former 250cc World Champion and MotoGP Team Manager Sito Pons was lending his support to son Axel at the Valencian circuit, whilst on day two Karel Pesek, brother of 125cc rider Lukas, was on the track.

The second section of young riders, numbering 106 talented hopefuls, took to the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana on Tuesday for day 2 of the selection phase. The participants hailed mainly from European soil, with Britain, Germany, France and Holland all represented, although there were also Australian, South African and American riders looking for their big chance to shine as part of the lucky 20 to go through to the next stage.

Alberto Puig

"It's similar to what we have previously been doing with other cups. The lap times are important to our assesment, and we have a sophisticated timekeeping system to help us. The times show us what category a rider should be in, especially young riders like these who can't express what their feeling is on the bike because they lack the experience."

Harald Bartol

"I think it's a great iniciative to give those riders who maybe lack support or other outlets to get into the world of competition.

Working with kids is difficult, because you have high expectations and have to follow how they are doing not just in the all-important lap times, but in what their potential might be."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006

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