For the 2020 racing year, MotoAmerica has announced that it will run a three-round Mini Cup, in an effort to bridge the gap for young racers into professional racing.
The new series, which will race at Road America, The Ridge Motorsports Park, and PittRace, will have four spec-classes, all of which will use Ohvale motorcycles.
The class breakdown is as follow: 110cc (four-speed); 160cc; 190cc (racers aged up to 14 years); and 190 Adult (racers over the age of 15), with all of the races set to take place on karting tracks at the aforementioned race courses.
The hope is that the Mini Cup will give racers under the age of 14 a stepping stone into the MotoAmerica series, and also serve as a way to highlight young talent.
“We saw the Ohvales race for the first time at PittRace in 2019 and we came away impressed,” said MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey. “The bike is basically a miniature GP racer and serves as an ideal platform to get kids and their families on track and racing.”
“We saw the need to provide an avenue for kids who are too young to race in our Liqui Moly Junior Cup to get started and work on their skills before moving up to bigger bikes. We’re excited about this and can’t wait for it to get rolling at Road America at the end of May.”
MotoAmerica’s use of only Ohvale motorcycles is an interesting choice (as is the three-round series that is spread across the United States, we might add), though the Italian motorcycles have been getting tons of attention and rising in popularity in Europe.
“We’ve been hard at work to help bring a solid platform into the US market for youth, and their parents, to get involved in road racing with an affordable and easy to understand platform,” said Brandon Cretu of Rise Moto, the Ohvale GP-O distributor for the United States.
“The Ohvale GP-0 provides tiered engine options to progress with young racers skills and help them rise through the ranks until they’re ready for big bikes on big tracks.”
“It also provides an exciting and affordable way for older riders and professional athletes to gain access to invaluable training time and inexpensive track time and racing. It is an exciting time for our sport and Ohvale is happy to be working with MotoAmerica,” added Cretu.
The ability to bump up engine sizes is one of the many arguments in favor for the Ohvale GP-0 platform, which has a high initial barrier to entry (the 110cc starts at $4,700 MSRP). But, with the ability to swap engines and rise in categories, there is at least some economy to the machines.
It is of note though, that in order to fill the grids, Rise Moto will be offering Ohvales to rent at the MotoAmerica Mini Cup races. Depending on how pricing works, this could make racing in the series considerably more affordable.
With 2020 set to be the inaugural year, it will be interesting to watch how this first season goes, and to see how the Mini Cup plan evolves for subsequent seasons.