The ninth season of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup starts this weekend in Jerez. From around the globe 24 of the worlds fastest teenagers face each other on MotoGP's proving ground.
14 nations are represented, from Australia to Argentina, from the Ukraine to the USA. After the preseason test at the same venue a month ago the two Japanese newcomers set the pace. 14-year-old Ayumu Sasaki sensationally headed the timing sheets, just behind him was Kaito Toba, 15-year-old winner of last year's Asia Talent Cup.
Quickest of the more experienced hands was 17-year-old Australian Olly Simpson who was third fastest with of course all 24 riding identical KTM RC 250 Rs. For that is the whole point of Rookies Cup, to give all the riders the chance to show what their hard work and skills can achieve.
Ex Rookies now lead both the Moto3 and Moto2 World Championship with Danny Kent and Johann Zarco respectively showing an example to this year's Rookies as do Karel Hanika, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, all ex Rookies and all members of the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team campaigning very similar KTM RC 250s.
Those who would like to be part of the 2016 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and follow the stepping stone to stardom can already apply online.
This weekend's Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world.
Race 1 is at 16.30 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 15.30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.