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Puig: Paving the way for British talent
After the success of the Asia Talent Cup (ATC) and series such as the Red Bull Rookies Cup and FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship, a new project could see the UK the next stage for a series aimed at bringing on young talent. Alberto Puig, former rider and manager; now a driving force behind the Asia Talent Cup, spoke to motogp.com about the exciting plans starting to take shape on the horizon.
Alberto Puig: “There’s an idea to start to investigate and research the possibilities of expanding racing in the UK. We will probably try and make some sort of selection program this year, and the target will be to try and create some sort of British Talent Cup in the next year.”
Big plans always require a first step; in this case a new team in the Moto3™ World Championship to provide a rung on the ladder. The new British Talent Team will field 2016 Brno winner John McPhee in 2017 – with the Scotsman chosen as the first example for those later participants in the new series.
Alberto Puig: “If we want to expand motorcycle racing in England, we have to create a cup where kids can come and race. Like we did in Asia and Spain – but also they must have some sort of target; a team where they can go and race. So a team will start this year, to be a reference for these kids, with John McPhee. From then, we’ll see how things go. Normally when we start a project we don’t know where we’ll get to – but we know where we’ll start. If we can replicate the success of the Asia Talent Cup riders then we’ll be happy, but at the moment it’s difficult to say.”
As well as McPhee as the on-track example for 2017, there are also plans to get other British stars of the sport on board, in this case GP winner Jeremy McWilliams.
Alberto Puig: “Our idea is to have someone who represents or takes care of the riders – and we were thinking about Jeremy McWilliams. He can help us a lot to develop not just this team, but the future racing, and scouting of kids in England. The racing tradition is there, you just have to go and find it. If a country has been strong at something before, it’s hard to believe it’s over for them. What makes this sport important is the racing itself. If we have good riders, we’ll have the sport we have. The biggest thing that motorcycle racing has is the thrill, the excitement and brutality of the sport – and that’s what we need to remember.”