WSBK Launches European Junior Cup, Rival To Red Bull Rookies

Since its inception, the Red Bull Rookies Cup (and its predecessor, the MotoGP Academy) has proved to be a rich source of talent for the MotoGP series. Top riders such as Bradley Smith and promising youngsters such as Sturla Fagerhaug and Jonas Folger have come through the system, with a steady flow of more youngsters coming through all the time.

In a bid to tap into the same vein of young talent, the World Superbike series is about to set up its own rival to the Red Bull Rookies Cup. As we reported back in November, WSBK is to run the European Junior Cup, series open to 14 to 17-year-olds, and will run at six of the European World Superbike rounds. The youngsters will be picked from entries consisting of riders with at least one year of experience in any motorcycle discipline, and will compete aboard specially prepared - and identical - Kawasaki Ninja 250R machines, Kawasaki's entry level 250cc four-stroke twin sports bike.

The press release announcing the European Junior Cup is displayed below:

European Junior Cup launched in 2011

The European Junior Cup is an exciting new class that will feature at the events of the 2011 Superbike World Championship organized by Infront Motor Sports. Open to 14 to 17 year old racers from around the world the European Junior Cup takes place at some of the most famous and legendary racing circuits in the calendar.

Riders will compete on identical race prepared Kawasaki Ninja 250R motorcycles and will have the opportunity to display their talent in front of thousands of racing fans when they take to the track, directly before Sunday's second World Superbike race.

The fantastic European Junior Cup package includes:

  • Race prepared Kawasaki Ninja 250 R and pit equipment
  • Transport of motorcycle to all rounds
  • Entry fees, tyres and fuel
  • Riding equipment and team wear
  • Hospitality at the Junior Cup paddock village
  • Technical support
  • Race coaching from star riders
  • Pre season training camp in Spain.

To prepare the young riders as they begin their international racing careers there will be an active coaching programme throughout the season, beginning with a training camp for all participants in Guadix, Spain.

The series then visits the following circuits:

  • Assen (15-17 April)
  • Monza (6-8 May)
  • Aragon (17-19 June)
  • Silverstone (29-31 July)
  • Nurburgring (2-4 September)
  • Magny-Cours (30 September - 2 October)

The European Junior Cup welcomes racers from a wide range of motorcycling disciplines. Entries will be considered from all riders who have held a competition license for at least one year in either road racing, motocross, enduro, supermoto, trials or minimoto.

For further information or to enrol in this exciting new youth series please visit the website, which will shortly be online.

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Looks like Ex-RBRC standout Florian Marino will get promoted to Ten Kate's WSS team in the wake of  Sofuoglu and Pirro departing to Moto2.

Including the race prepared motorcycle (5 000 € for the standard road-ready version), leathers and so on, it looks like a reasonable deal.