Teenagers from around the world know that the best way of getting a start in Grand Prix motorcycle racing is by entering the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Since its inception in 2007 it has grown into one of the most thrilling two-wheel spectacles in the world.
The Rookies Cup has released new stars into the world of Grand Prix racing, both Moto2 and Moto3 World Champions in 2016 were ex Rookies as they were in 2017. Every year the level of competition has increased and this year’s intake are set to raise the bar yet again for the 11th running of the Cup.
Starting at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 6th and 7th the series takes a broad sweep around the classic Grand Prix circuits of Europe including the usual run through the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria then on to San Marino before ending the year back in Spain with the Grand Prix of Aragon on September 23th and 24th.
This is the fifth season with the Moto3 specification KTM RC 250 R 4-stroke as we switched in 2013 from the 2-stroke KTM RC 125 that had powered the Rookies for the first 6 seasons.
Just as the RC 125 was a close brother to the 125cc GP machines raced by the KTM factory so successfully, the RC 250 R is a reflection of the factory KTM Moto3 machine that won the 2016 Moto3 World Championship in teh hands of ex Rookie Brad Binder. It is the start of another great lineage, the 2012 factory KTM won the 2012 Moto3 World Championship in the hands of Sandro Cortese and in 2013 KTMs filled the top four places.
For the 24 Rookies the first chance to ride the KTMs in 2017 comes at the preseason test held in Aragon with four days on track, April 4th – 7th. Riders come from across the globe, from Japan to the USA and Columbia and across Europe from Spain to the Czech Republic.
The Grand Prix paddock watches the intense action of the Rookies races picking out future stars and the Rookies themselves study their Grand Prix heroes in action looking for tips and inspiration.