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2018 and the incredible record of the Road to MotoGP™

A stunningly high percentage of 2018 riders come from the Road to MotoGP™ programme – here we take a look through some of the biggest

Tags MotoGP, 2018

2018 marks another season of impressive progress for the Road to MotoGP™, with a majority of the competitors across all three classes coming from one (or more!) of the programmes. One statistic is an especially important one, with every permanent entrant in the Moto3™ World Championship now having raced in a series on the Road to MotoGP™ – as well as more than half the premier class grid. So what is the Road to MotoGP™ exactly?

The evolution of the #RoadToMotoGP

Growing from the first forays into talent promotion in the days of the Movistar Junior Cup that uncovered talents such as Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, by 2017 there are several different paths, all of which are designed to discover and nurture talent across the world. The FIM CEV Repsol, the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, the Asia Talent Cup and the new British Talent Cup are the headline acts – and there are new additions being added, such as the Cool FAB Racing British Minibikes Championship, which was recently awarded Road to MotoGP™ status.

So let’s take a look through each, and their biggest representatives on the grid now.

FIM CEV Repsol: A crucial hunting ground for future stars

The FIM CEV Repsol and, most often, the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, are two of the biggest pillars of talent production ahead of many competitors then debuting in the MotoGP™ paddock in Moto3™. Six-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was a race winner in the CEV back in 2007, and brother Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) won the CEV title in 2012 before the Moto3™ World Championship crown in 2014. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) is also a former CEV Champion, as well as riders such as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).

Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup: A look at previous racers

The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup is another important pillar of the Road to MotoGP™ programme. Beginning in 2007, the first Champion was none other than two-time Moto2™ World Champion and 2017 premier class Rookie of the Year Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Many other Champions have also come through the Rookies, including 2015 Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent (Speed Up Racing), his successor Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and the reigning lightweight class Champion Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Mir raced in the Rookies, but was also a prominent protagonist and race winner in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship.

The road from Red Bull Rookies to MotoGP™

The Asia Talent Cup was inaugurated in 2014 for competitors from Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The first Champion, Kaito Toba, is now in the Moto3™ World Championship – and 2017 Moto3™ Rookie of the Year Ayumu Sasaki also won the ATC – as well as the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Sasaki is a perfect example of progression on the Road to MotoGP™, winning the ATC and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup as well as taking podiums in the Dorna-backed Asia Talent Team competing in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship – and all that ahead of his debut on the world stage as Rookie of the Year.

From the Asia Talent Cup to MotoGP™

New for 2018 is the British Talent Cup. For competitors from the British Isles, the new series kicks off in March alongside British Superbikes at Donington Park – also racing alongside WorldSBK and MotoGP™ events. Designed to foster talent within a nation with one of the biggest histories within motorsport, the BTC will be an exciting new addition to the domestic racing scene. In addition, Cool FAB Racing British Minibikes Championship is also now a Road to MotoGP™  programme – with many on the inaugural BTC grid having come from the series.

Make it or break it in the British Talent Cup

The here and now is bright for talent, and the future even more so!