The rivalry that lasted to the last lap of the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will continue in 2010 when Jakub Kornfeil and Sturla Fagerhaug will once again face each other on track - but this time in the 125cc World Championship.
16 year old Czech Kornfeil, the who won the Rookies Cup by just two points, has signed for Racing Team Germany, cementing a relationship with team owner/manager Dirk Heidolf that started in earnest back in June.
"I was racing at a German Championship race at the Sachsenring and Dirk spent a lot of time with me that weekend, helping me, giving me very good advice," said Kornfeil. "He really knows what he is talking about and I think must be a very good team manager and will be a big help next year.
"I know that the competition will be very very hard. I don't know if it will be possible to finish in the points every weekend, it will not be easy. I just know that I will give it my maximum effort and that I have a good background after my two years in the Rookies Cup. If I can finish the season in the top 15 in the world championship I will be very happy and so will my team."
Heidolf is very clear what he thinks Kornfeil is capable of:
"I was happy to sign him because he is fast, young and very clever. This is his first year in 125GP and it's a learning year. We have a two year contract. The results must be step by step better and better. In some races I think he can run in position 10 to13. This is the plan for the first season. We will fit in as many races as we can also outside the GPs, the German Championship race at Sachsenring for example and anything else we can do to gain experience."
Despite his new status as a grand prix rider, Kornfeil is determined to keep his feet firmly on the ground. "I will still be going to the races the same way we have for the last couple of years, driving with my dad in our motorhome, he is still going to be supporting me and I really appreciate that."
Kornfeil has no doubt who he is looking forward most to racing against. "I think Bradley Smith is the best rider in the 125 class now and it will be great to be out on the track with him every weekend. For me though the challenge will be to race against the other ex Rookies already in GPs like Sturla, Salom and Zarco."
Meanwhile, 18 year old Norwegian Fagerhaug, runner up in the 2009 Rookies Cup, has agreed terms with the ISPA Ongetta, Worldwide Race Team.
"I am really satisfied with having signed," said Fagerhaug. "Actually I was already talking with them at the grand prix in Estoril where we had a meeting and they were interested, but none of us really had the economic means to make the deal possible. Then I found some more sponsors in Norway, and I think the team found some more sponsors too, so they made me a good offer and I went down to Lugano to sign with them.
"The experience of the Red Bull Rookies Cup and the wild-card rides in France, Catalunya, Portugal and Valencia have been essential for me to be able to be where I am at this moment," continued Fagerhaug. "I've been in the Cup for the three years it's been running and I've learned so much. I've also been learning a few of the GP circuits, so that's going to help me. The step up to the world championship is a big one, so I'm going to have to learn a lot more to do well there.
"This year I will work hard to always be within the points and my main goal is of course to be top ten. I know this is going to be extremely difficult as the level is very high. But this goal is what I'm going to be aiming at all through the 2010 season."