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2019 is the 13th season of the Rookies Cup and 184 riders from 34 different nations have been involved. By the end of this year there will have been 156 races.
Just as importantly Rookies have already gone on to win 88 Grand Prix on their way to six World Championships. In total they have stood on the Grand Prix podium 260 times, sometimes making it a clean sweep of the top three positions.
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 the last four seasons the Moto3 World Champion has been an ex Rookie and the 2018 title holder Jorge Martín now moves up to the Moto2 category to join 2016 Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder.
Johann Zarco, our first Rookies champion and twice Moto2 World Champion, continues his incredible MotoGP campaign now in the Red Bull KTM squad. Every year the level of competition has increased and this year's intake are set to raise the bar yet again for the 13th running of the Cup.
Starting at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 4th & 5th, the series takes a broad sweep around the classic Grand Prix circuits of Europe including the usual run through the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the Red Bull Ring in Austria then on to San Marino before ending the year back in Spain with the Grand Prix of Aragón on September 21st & 22nd.
This is the seventh 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 is the start of another great lineage, the 2012 factory KTM won the 2012 Moto3 World Championship in the hands of Sandro Cortese and in 2013 KTMs filled the top four places.
For the 25 Rookies the first chance to ride the KTMs in 2019 comes at the preseason test held in Jerez with four days on track, April 2nd - 5th . Riders come from across the globe, from England to Australia, from Japan to Colombia and South Africa to the USA.
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. They get both from the factory KTM teams with ex Rookie Champion and youngest ever Grand Prix winner Can Öncü looking for Moto3 prestige in 2019 and fellow ex Rookies Brad Binder and Jorge Martín going for the Moto2 title and Johann Zarco and Miguel Oliveira shooting for MotoGP glory.