The Road to MotoGP™ is growing! At the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, a special press conference announced a new programme for riders in Germany and Austria, as well as changes to the Northern Talent Cup from 2024.
Dorna Sports Chief Sporting Officer Carlos Ezpeleta was joined by KTM AG Executive Board Member Hubert Trunkenpolz, ADAC’s head of Motorcycle Sport and Coordination Fabian Schuster, and Alberto Puig, Dorna’s Talent Promotion Technical Director, at the press conference to reveal the news.
The new programme is named the “KTM Junior Cup powered by ADAC” and is set to launch for 2024. The new Cup replaces the Austrian Junior Cup and will race across Austria and Germany using the KTM RC4 R, creating the perfect stepping stone between FIM MiniGP World Series categories and the next step on the Road to MotoGP™: the Northern Talent Cup.
The NTC will also see some changes from 2024. In order to bring the competition in line with the European Talent Cup in the Finetwork FIM JuniorGP™ paddock, Honda will become the manufacturer from next season and the Honda NSF 250 R will be the single machine for the NTC grid.
The Northern Talent Cup is aimed at riders from northern and central European countries and is designed to create close competition in a cost-effective manner. That includes the calendar, which ensures riders from the region don’t need to travel to another part of the continent to further their careers on the Road to MotoGP™. The switch to Honda from 2024 will bring the equipment raced in the NTC in line with the European Talent Cup, creating a more comparable stepping stone into the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and/or JuniorGP™.
The Road to MotoGP™ for riders in Austria, Germany and across northern and central Europe can now begin in the FIM MiniGP World Series, move into the KTM Junior Cup powered by ADAC, the Northern Talent Cup and then the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup or JuniorGP™, creating a perfect ladder where riders can hone their craft, gain experience and race in the safest possible conditions on their Road to MotoGP™.
Carlos Ezpeleta, Dorna Sports Chief Sporting Officer: “We’re super happy to see the Road to MotoGP grow in an important territory for us, northern and central Europe, as the new KTM Junior Cup powered by ADAC provides that missing link between the grassroots of MiniGP and the NTC. We believe talent and passion should be the key for young riders, not social or economic factors, and a big part of that is creating opportunities for young riders to race where they are without needing to move across the continent or across the world.
“That’s also what drives the change in the NTC. We hope the switch to the same machinery as the ETC will make it even more competitive – not even on track, where the racing has always been close and valuable for the riders – but in terms of the level compared to similar Cups like the ETC. More parity across these feeder series creates more equal opportunities, with riders not needing to choose between racing at a higher level, which could be further away and require more investment, and racing closer to home. That’s the goal, globally, and we’re super happy we’re able to keep making more and more steps towards it.”
Alberto Puig, Dorna Talent Promotion Technical Director: “It’s always positive for us to see the Road to MotoGP grow, and new opportunities like this are very valuable to young riders. This is an exciting new chapter for riders from this part of Europe, ensuring they have a career path without needing to go elsewhere so early on.
“This will also be an exciting new era for the NTC, racing on the same machinery as other similar competitions on the Road to MotoGP. We’ve seen so much success in competitions with the Honda NSF 250 R, from the Asia Talent Cup to the British Talent Cup and European Talent Cup, and this maintains a certain level across the Road to MotoGP. That level is also the correct one for riders to then arrive to the next step even more prepared.”
Hubert Trunkenpolz, CMO KTM AG: “After three years supporting the Austrian Junior Cup to find new national heroes, we are now fully committed to regionally extend the project together with ADAC. The new KTM Junior Cup should be the platform for Juniors in road racing in all German speaking countries. The KTM RC4 R is one of the most competitive entry level racing bikes and all race events will be located in Germany or Austria at FIM-proven race tracks!”
Dr. Gerd Ennser, ADAC Sports President: “Together with our partner KTM, we are strengthening the development of young drivers in motorcycle racing. With the new KTM Junior powered by ADAC, we are creating an attractive entry-level class. The cup completes our end-to-end development concept in motorcycle racing: starting with our introductory courses at the ADAC Road Racing Academy and the ADAC Mini and Pocket Bike Cup entry-level series, as well as the FIM MiniGP Germany Series, talented riders can progress via the KTM Junior Cup powered by ADAC to the Northern Talent Cup, providing them with the ideal environment on their journey to top-level international racing.”