2021 is the 15th season of the Rookies Cup and 201 riders from 35 different nations have been involved. By the end of this year there will have been 182 races.
Just as importantly Rookies have already gone on to win 115 Grand Prix on their way to 8 World Championships. In total they have stood on the Grand Prix podium 339 times, sometimes making it a clean sweep of the top three positions.
The Rookies Cup KTM RC 250 R Polishd up and Ready to Race
Therefore teenagers from around the world know that the best way of getting a start in Grand Prix motorcycle racing is by entering the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Since its inception in 2007 it has grown into one of the most thrilling two-wheel spectacles in the world.
The Rookies Cup has released new stars into the world of Grand Prix racing, ex Rookies now compete with enormous success in all classes. For four of the last five seasons the Moto3 World Champion has been an ex Rookie and the 2018 title holder Jorge Martín moved up to the Moto2 category while the 2016 Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder moved to MotoGP and won only his third Grand Prix in the premier class on the Red Bull KTM.
Johann Zarco, our first Rookies champion and twice Moto2 World Champion, continues his incredible MotoGP campaign. Every year the level of competition has increased and this year's intake are set to raise the bar yet again for the 15th running of the Cup.
Starting in Portugal at Portimão in April, the series takes a broad sweep around the classic Grand Prix circuits of Europe ending the year at Motorland Aragón, Spain in September.
This is the 9th season with the Moto3 specification KTM RC 250 R 4-stroke as we switched in 2013 from the 2-stroke KTM RC 125 that had powered the Rookies for the first 6 seasons.
Just as the RC 125 was a close brother to the 125cc GP machines raced by the KTM factory so successfully, the RC 250 R is a reflection of the factory KTM Moto3 machine that won the 2018 Moto3 World Championship in the hands of ex Rookie Jorge Martín. It was the start of another great lineage, the 2020 factory KTM won the Moto3 World Championship in the hands of Albert Arenas.
For the 26 Rookies the first chance to ride the KTMs in 2021 comes at the preseason test held at Portimão with three days on track. Riders come from across the globe, from England to New Zealand, from Japan to Colombia and Indonesia to Italy.
The Grand Prix paddock watches the intense action of the Rookies races picking out future stars and the Rookies themselves study their Grand Prix heroes in action looking for tips and inspiration.