The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup starts this weekend in Jerez as part of the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on April 2nd and 3rd. A completely and dramatically revitalised Rookies Cup website launched this weekend will carry all the latest information and a live feed of all this season's races as 25 of the world's best teenage racers aim for stardom and a chance to become professional Grand Prix riders by showing their abilities in this unique competition.
In the 3 day pre season test at Estoril 3 weeks ago Australian 15 year old Arthur Sissis was fastest overall, just ahead of 14 year old Spaniard Xavier Pinsach and 15 year old Brad Binder. South African Binder has been the pre season favourite since finishing 5th in the Cup last year on the back of 3 rostrum appearances. By comparison Sissis was down in 13th at the end of the Cup chase, his best finish being a single 6th place finish. It just shows what a difference a year makes and Sissis had certainly been a great talent with too little road race experience struggling to show what he could do in his first 2 Rookie seasons.
The returning Rookies will not have thing all their own way, 3rd fastest behind Sissis and Binder on the treacherously wet final day in Estoril was 13 year old Spaniard Aaron Espana, the fastest of the newcomers. He will obviously be feeling a special thrill, racing at his home Grand Prix but it doesn't offer him much of an advantage as he has never raced at Jerez before. The lack of track time seems to be little impediment to many of the youngsters and there is little doubt that we are in for another season of close racing as the Rookies Cup embarks on its 5th year.
The number of races this year has been increased to 14 at the 8 GPs in Jerez, Estoril, Silverstone, Assen, Mugello, Sachsenring, Brno and Misano. There are 14 nations represented from around the globe fielding a total of 25 Rookies all on identical KTM Grand Prix 125s. The racing will be seen on television either live or delayed in countries around the world and for those who can't see the races live on TV there is the live stream available both on www.redbullrookiescup.com and onwww.redbull.com.
The Rookies Cup website also features all the background you could want plus previous race videos and the fabulous behind the scenes look into the 2009 and 2010 Cup contained in 'Young Guns Rising'. That is the TV series that provides total depth to the Cup with the complete background story of a group of Rookies. It reveals the characters from inside their own homes and at the races, it shows what makes them tick, makes them win or lose.
The 2011 edition of Young Guns Rising is already being shot and will be available on the website later in the year. Until then follow this year's rivalries at the races, on television, web TV and through the rider blogs and other web news and features.