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By Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Rookies Cup fired up for season opener in Jerez

2017 is about to get in gear - with applications also open for next year

There is nothing more exciting than the first races of a new season. So many expectations, so much preparation, the new Rookies, the ‘old hands’. Jerez is the stage and the best teenagers in the world are the players all wanting to take big steps towards future World Championships.

The eleventh season of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup starts with two races at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. The season then takes a broad swing across Europe for a total of 13 races, concluding at Motorland Aragon in September.

More Rookies more action

This year a total of 25 Rookies will be campaigning the fabulous KTM RC 250 R Moto3 spec machines. Deniz Öncü, the 13-year-old from Turkey was added to the entry list when Finish 15-year-old Peetu Paavilainen was injured riding another machine prior to the Rookies Cup preseason test.

Deniz joins his twin brother Can and 12 other new Rookies in this season’s line up and 11 riders are staying on from the 2016 season. Unfortunately, missing from the Jerez line up is 15-year-old Spaniard Beatriz Neila as she was injured at the preseason test but both Neila and Paavilainen have bikes waiting for their welcome return as soon as they are ready.

More stars more inspiration

The Rookies Cup continues to provide Grand Prix stars with ex Rookies Joan Mir and Jorge Martín making an incredible start to 2017 and coming to Jerez standing first and second in the Moto3 World Championship. Mir won the two opening rounds while Martín was on the podium at all three of the races run so far.

Johann Zarco, the first Rookies Cup champion, now goes head to head with Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi every weekend in MotoGP after winning two Moto2 World Championships. So inspiration for the next generation of Rookies is everywhere and they are drawn from 13 nations, from as far apart as Colombia and the Czech Republic, from Brazil to Japan.

R1&2 - May 6-7 Jerez – Spain
R3&4 - June 24-25 Assen – Netherlands
R5&6 - July 1-2 Sachsenring – Germany
R7&8 - August 5-6 Brno – Czech Republic
R9&10 - August 12-13 Spielberg – Austria
R11 - September 9 Misano – Italy
R12&13 - September 23-24 Aragon – Spain

Entry List
4 Dan Jones GBR
6 Ryusei Yamanaka JPN
9 Sasha De Vits BEL
11 Gabriele Giannini ITA
12 Filip Salač CZE
13 Walid Soppe NED
14 Matthias Meggle GER
19 Lorenzo Bartalesi ITA
20 Omar Bonoli ITA
21 Victor Steeman NED
22 Peetu Paavilainen FIN *
24 Xavier Artigas ESP
28 Adrian Carrasco ESP
36 Beatriz Neila ESP *
39 Kazuki Masaki JPN
40 Sean Kelly USA
43 Steward Garcia COL
44 Kevin Orgis GER
52 Deniz Öncü TUR
65 Can Öncü TUR
69 Rory Skinner GBR
79 Ai Ogura JPN
81 Aleix Viu ESP
82 Loran Faber NED
83 Meikon Kawakami BRA

* Absent from Jerez because of injury