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U.S. Rookies Cup accepting applications

Young racing talent get chance to compete on AMA race days

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 11, 2008
Applications are being accepted for the 2009 Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup until Aug. 15.

Young riders aged 13 to 17 are eligible to compete in the racing series, which aims to provide promising motorcycle racing talent with the opportunity to develop their skills on top circuits around the U.S. in front of large crowds at selected stops on the AMA Superbike racing tour.

Racers compete on KTM RC 125 motorcycles and receive coaching from experienced riders such as 1993 Grand Prix World Champion Kevin Schwantz.

Rookies learn from greats such as Former Grand Prix Champion Kevin Schwantz.“The Red Bull AMA U.S Rookies Cup is an unbelievable program,” says Schwantz. “The chance that these kids are being given by Red Bull and its partners is the chance of a lifetime. First-class equipment with great mechanics at some of the best tracks in the U.S. is just a small part of it. For me it's an honor to be the kids’ coach and to represent this amazing program with 23 of the best kids I know.”

Californian Ben Solis Jr., 14, currently leads the inaugural U.S. Rookies Cup with 120 points ahead of Leandro Mercardo, 16, of Argentina. Hayden Gillim, the 13-year-old relative of the Owensboro, Ky. racing brothers Nicky, Tommy and Roger Hayden, is third with 77 points.

Jacob Gagne gets prepared before the U.S. Rookies Cup race at Laguna Seca.The top ten riders in the U.S. Rookies Cup qualify for the Riders Cup where they will compete as a team in a pair of races against the top ten riders in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.

Potential 2009 U.S. Rookies Cup riders must be born between Jan. 1, 1992 and Dec. 31, 1995. Racing experience is not required. Selected applicants will be invited to an on-track selection event at Barber Motorsports Park in the fall where a panel of judges will select the participants for the 2009 U.S. Rookies Cup.