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Final 2009 Rookies selection event takes place at Estoril

Final 2009 Rookies selection event takes place at Estoril

The sun was out on Saturday in Estoril for a beautiful second day at the final selection event for the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.

Riders came from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and across Europe from Sweden to the Czech Republic, putting their talent on the line at the Portuguese Grand Prix circuit of Estoril over the weekend, for the last selection event of the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.

Hiroshi Aoyama, a Grand Prix winner who finished second in Estoril in 2006, was on hand to give the young riders the benefit of his experience and commented, `It is very nice to see so many young riders here enjoying themselves. I have never seen anything like it. We certainly did not have it in Japan when I started riding. There is so much talent here and they are so young, they have so much possibility for improvement it is very difficult to pick the right riders to go forward to the Rookies Cup.´

The riders come from very different backgrounds, some with a good amount of experience on 125cc Grand Prix style machinery, others had to learn new skills in a short time. One example is Arthur Sissis, the 13 year-old Australian, more accustomed to racing speedway who thrilled everyone with some sideways moves on the 125cc. `It´s great to be here, a fantastic experience,´ he enthused. `I´m having great fun on the track. I think the most difficult part was the tight twisty section, that´s a real test of skill.´

For others the travelling itself was something new as it was for Syafiq Omar, the 16 year-old Malaysian. `This is the experience of a lifetime for me, to come to such a great track and get the international experience. It is all very new to me and not easy of course but I am learning the bike and the track. It is a lot of fun and I am trying very hard to get into the Rookies Cup. That would be fantastic.´

On the other hand some of the youngest participants already have lot of racing under their belt including 12 year-old Briton Fraser Rogers. He has been racing since he was six but said that the Estoril Circuit was the best he has seen, `I like Anglesea and Donington but this is more fun I think. It is also more technical and it´s warmer here. I like this track´s tight twisty corners but it is also flowing.´

`At home I race an RS125 Aprilia but the Metrakit is smaller, faster and nicer really. I like it. I really want to get into the Rookies Cup, it´s wicked, I want to race on the same tracks as the MotoGP guys and be in the same paddock. I´ve learnt a bit of Spanish and French, enough to order food and say if the bike is good or not,´ said Rogers, obviously well prepared for the life of an international superstar.

The two days of testing resulted in a list of nine riders who will be invited to take part in the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup joining those from 2008 who have been invited to return.

Invited riders from Final Selection Event:
Robin Barbosa (FRA)
Brad Binder (RSA)
Xavier Figueiras (ESP)
Taylor Mackenzie (GBR)
Alexander Kristiansson (SWE)
Manuel Pardo (ITA)
Alex Rins (ESP)
Fraser Rogers (GBR)
Arthur Sissis (AUS)

Provisional 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Entry List
Robin Barbosa (FRA)
Brad Binder (RSA)
Deane Brown (GBR)
Kevin Calia (ITA)
Alessio Cappella (ITA/NGR)
Xavier Figueiras (ESP)
Hayden Gillim (USA)
Daijiro Hiura (JPN)
Taylor Mackenzie (GBR)
Nelson Major (FRA)
Florian Marino (FRA)
Dylan Mavin (AUS)
Leandro Mercado (ARG)*
Jakub Kornfeil (CZE)
Alexander Kristiansson (SWE)
Manuel Pardo (ITA)
Alex Rins (ESP)
Fraser Rogers (GBR)
Daniel Ruiz (ESP)
Mathew Scholtz (RSA)
Arthur Sissis (AUS)
Benny Solis (USA)
Harry Stafford (GBR)
Nico Thöni (AUT)
* TBC

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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