Teenage racers who reckon they have what it takes to be the next Cal Crutchlow or Scott Redding will have the opportunity of a lifetime this summer, as applications for the new British Talent Cup have opened.
The Talent Cup is a new initiative from Dorna, the company behind MotoGP, to get the most promising talent from the British Isles to the pinnacle of the sport, and this year an X Factor type audition will take place to win a spot in the main competition for next year.
The series is open to youngsters born between 2001 and 2005. Potential candidates should visit www.britishtalentcup.com and complete the application form. Based on these application forms, a selection panel will then choose the riders to come along to a selection day at Silverstone in the week of the British Grand Prix. From this event, 20 or so riders will be selected to race in the British Talent Cup – a race series where all riders will be mounted on identical Honda NSF250R bikes. Riders will have to pay their expenses to get to the races, but otherwise the racing is free – removing a massive barrier to becoming a professional motorcycle racer.
The British Talent Cup is modelled on the Asian Talent Cup, a series which has seen three youngsters already make it through to the Moto3 world championship. To accommodate the best riders coming through the British Talent Cup, Dorna has created the British Talent Team. This squad has debuted this year with John McPhee in Moto3 and will ultimately act as an entry point to the world championship for the next generation of racers.
British racing legend Jeremy McWilliams is acting as talent scout for the programme. He says: “These riders will be fully supported by Dorna. It is a proven pathway to find the next generation of world championship riders. It’s fantastic to be part of this project and to play a role in the future of motorcycling in the British Isles. It’s an important project to be involved in and I’m looking forward to getting started and showing what kind of talent we have. The British Isles has a long history of motorcycle racing and motorsport that I’m proud to have been part of and it’s an honour for me to now again play a role in it – just with the difference that this time, I’m not on the bike.”