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Many major sports have their iconic trophies that have a special place set aside from their World Championships. Sailing has the Americas Cup, tennis the Davis Cup and golf the Ryder Cup. Motorcycling now has the Red Bull Riders Cup. The team challenge between the top ten in the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup and the top ten from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
Cheeky perhaps to mention an event for Rookies on the same page as the world´s most prestigious team trophies but road racing has nothing else that comes close and these are our future stars. They will carry their Riders Cup experiences on through individual championships and hopefully set it in their biographies alongside world titles at some stage in the future.
Forget the individuals for an moment as this is a team challenge and a holders trophy. It will be contested first on Sunday September 14th as part of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The winning team will then hold the trophy and carry it to Valencia where it will be contested again at the final Grand Prix of the season on Saturday October 25th. The winning team in Valencia will hold the Trophy into 2009.
This is not the first road racing trophy to be contested across the Atlantic but none of the Rookies were born when Rider Coach Kevin Schwantz raced as a member of the US Team in Britain contesting the Transatlantic Trophy in 1986 and ´87. His battles that Easter of ´87 at Brands Hatch with fellow American Wayne Rainey are part of racing legend and were a preview of the great Grand Prix duels that made the late 80s and early 90s such a classic era.
Further back in the history of that Transatlantic Trophy, first contested in 1971, was the shock dealt to the British at home when the Americans really showed they could road race with Cal Rayborn taking on Ray Pickerel even before Kenny Roberts took on Barry Sheene.
There is no getting away from the fact that individual performances will be noted. Who would not want to be considered the world´s fastest Red Bull Rookie?
This is a team contest though with the top ten riders from the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup facing off against the top ten from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. As the MotoGP Rookies Cup finishes at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic on August 17th the MotoGP Rookies Team will be decided then and remain the same for Valencia. The AMA U.S. Rookies Cup has its final round on September 28th between the two Riders Cup events so it is possible that the AMA U.S. Rookies Team will change for the rematch in Spain.
Riders Cup points are scored in the same way as other Rookies Cup races and the FIM World Championships.
The team with the highest number of points wins and takes home the Riders Cup from the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday September 14th.
In the event of a points tie the finishing positions of scoring riders will be totalled and the trophy presented with the lowest number.
The Cup is then held by that team until the next Cup race and that will be in Valencia at the final Grand Prix of the season, Saturday October 25th.
The winning team in Valencia will hold the Cup through the off season.
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