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Laguna hosts first Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup test

Laguna hosts first Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup test

The Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup began its inaugural season with a test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Tuesday, on what was a special occasion for the 23 youngsters participating in the competition.

The Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup began its inaugural season with a test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Tuesday, on what was a special occasion for the 23 youngsters participating in the competition.

The aspiring riders each received new racing equipment from Alpinestars, got a first taste of their brand new KTM RC125 bikes, and then rode around the Californian circuit with MotoGP Legend Kevin Schwantz.

After taking in some solo reconnaissance laps to get a feel for the circuit and help the KTM engineers find the correct settings for the bikes, official series Rider Coach Schwantz and the 23 competitors then met at pit wall for an important briefing.

The riders, who hail from six different countries and seven different American states, asked 1993 500cc World Champion Schwantz for advice on riding technique at a circuit which is of course home to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

After two on-track stints in the morning, the riders broke for lunch before another training session with Schwantz. That was followed by another two sessions in the afternoon as the group began to get more comfortable with their new bikes and the Laguna layout.

The emphasis was on learning rather than outright speed as Schwantz rode with the Rookies Cup competitors and worked with them on improving their lines and technique.

´It took me a little while to get up to speed, but it was a lot of fun,´ said Austin Medrano of Mustang, Oklahoma. ´Kevin Schwantz really helped me out on turn three. He told me I was going in too hard. I did what he said and then I dropped two seconds off my times.´

´It all came together and we´ve got a day under our belts with nothing but positives,´ said Schwantz. ´I didn´t know all the kids well at the beginning, but at the end of the day we were sitting around talking about racing like we´ve all known each other for a long time.´

´I feel like they´ve taken to me a little bit and we´re communicating well. The questions started coming as the day progressed. If it´s just a little bit of advice I can offer, that´s great. We have a bunch of kids with big hearts and a lot of determination. If we can just keep the reigns on them until we go racing, it will be good.´

The inaugural U.S. Rookies test continues for one further day on Wednesday.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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