The FIM and Infront Motorsports announced Wednesday the launch of its own European Junior Cup, a support series racing alongside the World Superbike series, for fourteen to seventeen year old riders. According to a press release from the FIM, “riders will compete on identical race prepared Kawasaki Ninja 250R motorcycles,” racing in the time between the two WSBK races at Assen, Monza, Aragon, Silverstone, Nurburgring, and Mangy-Cours.
Riders selected to compete will also attend a training camp before the season begins in Guadix, Spain. Riders will be eligible if they “have held a competition license for at least one year in either road racing, motocross, enduro, supermoto, trials or minimoto.”
While the press release also directs readers to the Cup website, that site has yet to include more information than that already in the press release. Kawasaki’s involvement in the WSBK series, as demonstrated by its being the sole supplier for this new series, is on the upswing, despite placing dead last in the constructor’s championship in the season just past.
Interestingly, this junior series development comes just a year after MotoGP and Red Bull shut down the American arm of the Red Bull Rookies Cup, leaving only the European series racing. This new race series neatly continues the competition between MotoGP and WSBK for dominance (or at least equal footing) in international motorcycle racing.
Each entry costs €18,950 ($25,078), which includes the bike and riding and pit equipment, according to the Cup website. Also apparently included is “transport of motorcycle to all rounds, entry fees, tyres and fuel, riding equipment and team wear, hospitality at the Junior Cup paddock village, technical support, [and] race coaching from star riders.”
The races for these younger riders are spread through the season, one each set in April, May, June, July, September, and October.