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Additional pair join Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Additional pair join Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Benny Solis and Hayden Gillim are to be joined by another American, Jake Gagne, and an Australian, Joshua Hook, in the 2009 edition of Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.

Four talented young riders - Benny Solis, Jr., Hayden Gillim, Jake Gagne and Joshua Hook - will take on the world during the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup campaign, joining 21 competitors hailing from France, Italy, South Africa, Great Britain, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic and Austria.

`I think these young riders will do great,´ said Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup Riders Coach and 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz. `Three of them have experience in Europe and learned a lot at the Riders Cup events last year. Both at Indy and Valencia, we experienced wet weather and our kids did well in difficult situations. They will find all aspects of the MotoGP Rookies Cup a huge step towards trying to learn how to compete on a world level. It will be a huge challenge but also a great chance to show, on a world level, what kind of speed and motivation they really have.´

Solis, Jr., and Gillim were invited to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at the conclusion of the 2008 Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup season, based on their performances throughout the year. Solis, 14 years old, from North Hollywood, Calif., won four races on his way to the series championship, and Gillim, also 14 years old, from Owensboro, Ky., won two races and was the series runner-up.

Joining Solis and Gillim in Europe will be Gagne and Hook. Gagne, 15 years old, from Ramona, Calif., was a two-time race winner in the 2008 Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup and was the top finisher for the U.S. team at the Red Bull Riders Cup races in Indianapolis and Valencia. Hook, 16 years old, from Taree, New South Wales, Australia, was chosen to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup on the recommendation of Schwantz based on the strength of his performance at the official Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup Selection Event last October.

`I´m very excited to get the opportunity to race in the MotoGP Rookies Cup this year and I can´t thank Red Bull enough for this opportunity,´ said Gagne. `Getting to race on the best tracks in the world and in front of the best riders and teams is a dream come true and I can´t wait for the racing to start.´

`To learn that I was selected to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup was just unbelievable,´ added Hook. `I am really grateful and honored that the selection committee believed in my potential to be successful and I can´t wait to get on the track at the first test in Estoril.´

The third season of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will feature eight races at six MotoGP race weekends – four single-race weekends and two doubleheaders. The riders will compete on identical KTM RC 125 motorcycles and they will be outfitted with Alpinestars leathers, boots and gloves.

MotoGP, 2009

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