The 2011 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup gets underway this weekend at the Spanish circuit.
The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup starts this weekend in Jerez as part of the Gran Premio bwin de España. 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 three-day pre-season test at Estoril three 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 fifth in the Cup last year on the back of three rostrum appearances. By comparison Sissis was down in 13th at the end of the Cup chase, his best finish being a single sixth place. 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 things all their own way, third 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 does not offer him much of an advantage as he has never raced at Jerez before. The lack of track time seems to be of little hindrance 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 fifth year.
The number of races this year has been increased to 14 at the eight 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.