British motorcycling appears to have a grand prix star in waiting after the announcement that prodigious talent Rory Skinner will compete in a full campaign of the FIM Junior World Championship in 2016.
The 14-year old, who hails from Perth, Scotland, has received continued backing from the Racing Steps Foundation – the private non-profit fund that supports John McPhee – to compete in the Moto3 class aboard the KRP KTM, a team with whom he already has experience.
The announcement comes as just reward for a talent that exceeded all expectations in 2015 when competing in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, along with the Junior World Championship.
Skinner turned heads in the GP paddock with a pole position and two podium finishes in the final RBR round of the year at Aragon, where his leading of both races belied all of his 13 years.
The Scotsman's debut in the recently rebranded Junior World Championship was delayed, as he was forced to wait until he turned 14 before he could legally race in the final two rounds of the series.
Having laid a point-scoring base in both races in Jerez, Skinner took advantage of last-lap mayhem to score highly credible seventh and fifth places in a field that boasts world championship level machinery.
The eight round series that has races in Spain, France and Portugal, kicks off in Valencia on 17th April before finishing at the same circuit in November.
Skinner will also return to complete his second season in the Red Bull Rookies programme, one that will see him begin the year as one of the championship favourites.
"Rory is thoroughly deserving of the RSF's continued support," said RSF motorcycle racing co-ordinator Peter Ball. "Racing on the continent for the first time is a really tough undertaking for British riders.
“So for Rory to acclimatise so well to the fast, wide and flowing circuits in Spain in such a short space of time, and to give as good as he got racing against much older and more experienced riders, was no mean achievement.
"On the basis of what he's achieved this year both his and the RSF's expectations are high heading into 2016."