Luis Salom - From Rookie to leading the World Championship

Luis Salom - From Rookie to leading the World Championship

Luis Salom is now an established Grand Prix star and leads the Moto3 World Championship after his third win of the season in Barcelona. It is easy to forget that his GP road started with the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. He took part in the first season, 2007, won in Assen and finished 4th that season. In 2008 he won 4 times and battled JD Beach for the title all the way to the end, just losing out by 4 points after 10 races.

“The Rookies Cup was very important for my career,” says Salom. “I learnt a lot, they are very good bikes, all the people involved in the Rookies Cup give a lot of help to the riders, try to be really clear with the riders and also really nice at the same time. You learn a lot about what to expect when you move into the GP classes. You see many new thing like the tracks, that's really important, you meet a lot of people in the paddock, they get to see you race, this can be so important for your future career.”

No other way

“The incredible thing is that with Rookies Cup you don't have to pay, you just pay your travel and this is so important for many families. My father is a mechanic, we are just a normal family we could never have the chance to go racing like this is if it was not for Rookies Cup. There is no way normally to have such bikes and race on the World Championship circuits, no other such opportunity for a rider.”

Salom knows very well that even as a successful Rookie things are not given away. “It wasn't immediately easy to transit from Rookies Cup to the World Championship but finally I managed it and eventually I started to get some good results. Last year I was second in the World Championship and this year I have the possibility with the Red Bull KTM factory team and Ajo Motorsports to challenge for the World Championship.”

Still learning

For Salom, gaining experience was what the Rookies Cup meant to him and it has not stopped there. “I am still learning, still learning a lot from the people around me in the Ajo team. I know that I have many, many, many things still to learn and I try to learn every day, every time I ride the bike.”

“This is a huge opportunity for me this year, the Ajo people, KTM, Red Bull, they have so much experience and I can make use of that. I have many races this year and I will learn in every race. I am determined to make the best out of the time I have in every practice session and every race, I will develop different tactics and strategy so I don't do the same thing in every race. If I win or not I am still learning, sometimes it will work and sometimes for sure it will not.”

Tactics

“Races are different, a race like Mugello at a track where slipstreaming is so important and where there was a group of six battling for the win I realised that it was not a good idea just to wait for the last lap, it would be too unpredictable with so many riders so I pushed a little earlier. Every race is different.”

“Always I will do my best and of course it is not possible to win every race and the important thing is to finish every race in the best position that I can on that day. You get there by making the best out of every practice and every qualifying, make the best out of every opportunity and that is what you must also do in Rookies Cup.”