Thanks to the continued and relentless work by Dorna Sports, the Road to MotoGP™ program has emerged as a real success platform for dozens of young riders trying to fulfil the ultimate dream: become a MotoGP™ World Champion. The path to the top is clearly defined as a number of countries have the means to allow future stars to begin their journey to success.
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The numbers speak for themselves. The 2020 campaign will heavily feature riders who have made their initial mark in Championships such as FIM CEV Repsol, Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup or the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. And you’ll find Moto3™ to be the best source of this.
Of the 31 riders who currently make up the grid, 29 of them have previously participated in the FIM CEV Repsol, 17 in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and six in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. Three who have experience in the FIM CEV Repsol Championship have been crowned Champions in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship: Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) in 2017, Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in 2018 and Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) in 2019.
The evolution of the #RoadToMotoGP
And in 2020, there will be five other Champions of a Road to MotoGP™ program. Jakub Kornfeil (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race), Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Carlos Tatay (Reale Avinita Arizona 77) have won the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup title in previous years, with Sasaki also winning the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup in 2015 before his 2016 Rookies triumph. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and 2020 teammate Deniz Öncü have also won the IATC.
The Moto2™ World Championship also boasts a healthy pool of riders who have risen through the Road to MotoGP™ ranks. 22 of the 29 riders in the intermediate class have experience in the FIM CEV Repsol, eight have participated in the Rookies Cup and two in the IATC. Four riders have an FIM CEV Repsol title to their name: Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team), Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), his teammate Edgar Pons and Jesko Raffin (NTS RW Racing GP). Then, three riders have a Rookies Cup title to strut: Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) and Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP).
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It’s easy to see how successful the FIM CEV Repsol and Rookies Cup Championships are as breeding grounds for the World stage. Even MotoGP™ has a high tally of riders who have experience in the FIM CEV Repsol, 15 to be exact, with three having raced in the Rookies Cup: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). In regards to Champions of a Road to MotoGP™ title, six premier class riders have at least one. The oldest of them is Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro, the Spaniard winning the FIM CEV Repsol 125cc crown in 2004. Younger brother Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – a double Junior World Championship winner – are the other stars.
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With the FIM CEV Repsol, Rookies Cup, IATC, British Talent Cup and the new Northern Talent Cup all hosting plenty of promising, young riders, the future remains bright for the Road to MotoGP™ to continue thriving. Who will we see emerge as World Championship contenders in the coming years?
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