|As this year's Rookies head for Assen and Races 4 and 5 in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for 2014, those hoping to be part of the series in 2015 are already filling in their online applications at http://www.redbullrookiescup.com/selection.|
This year's 14 race contest between 24 of the world's fastest teenagers all mounted on the World Championship winning KTM Moto3 machines is a thrilling battle headed by 16-year-old Spaniard Jorge Martín who was the clear winner last time out in Mugello. He knows that Assen is likely to be much tougher with the demanding circuit always producing tight races and surprise results. The narrower, tighter and more cambered track very different from the long, fast and undulating curves he excelled on in Italy.
A leader under pressure
Martín is chased hard by Pagliani, Mihara, Manzi and Mir and any one of them could win in the Netherlands. Manuel Pagliani won last year in Misano but the 17-year-old Italian only has a pair of second places and a third to his name this year. He was racing with a partially healed collarbone in Mugello but still managed to better fellow his countryman, 15-year-old Stefano Manzi, for the 20 point position.
It is a continuation of the struggle between the pair that includes Pagliani snatching victory from Manzi on the line in Misano last year. Manzi has yet to score a Rookies Cup win and as it is his third season he will be looking to slay that ghost in Assen. 14-year-old Japanese Soushi Mihara and 16-year-old Spaniard Juan Mir won races 1 and 2 in Jerez this year and could well stop Manzi.
These are only the most obvious of the contenders for race victory, there are of course the home country heroes, 15-year-olds Robert Schotman and Bo Bendsneyder. The latter has been particularly impressive, both are in their debut season and of course will have a very vocal and enthusiastic crowd behind them this Friday and Saturday for the two races.
A long way from any home crowd support but very much another name to watch is Olly Simpson, the 16-year-old Australian is getting quicker with every race and his fast starts could give him the edge this time. So Assen winners could come from almost any corner of the globe and that is what the Rookies Cup is all about, giving an opportunity to as many teenagers as possible to take a huge step towards a Grand Prix career.
Have you got what it takes?
For any teenager born between January 1st,1998 and March 31st, 2002 who has high performance riding experience the first step is the online application form. The deadline for applications is September 5th 2014 but the earlier the application the better as applicants must send in their race results through the 2014 season.