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MotoGP: Ezpeleta confirms British Talent Cup to start in 2018

MotoGP organiser Dorna's CEO says plans are already 'fixed' to run British Talent Cup in 2018; selection process for the series to be held at Silverstone this year.
Carmelo Ezpeleta has confirmed Dorna's intentions to run a 'Talent Cup' in the UK, and says the company that runs MotoGP has already decided on a budget that will ensure its beginning in 2018.

Dorna's CEO also revealed the selection process, that chooses riders suited to competing in the series, will take place at Silverstone before the British Grand Prix in August this year, as the company attempts to increase the number of British participants in GPs.

In the midst of contact negotiations with British broadcaster BT Sport to extend MotoGP viewing rights beyond 2018, it appears Dorna is keen to televise the new series aimed at young teenagers to compete in a single-make class at a cut-price cost.

Wanting the series to mirror the Asia Talent Cup - Dorna's recent attempt at unearthing talent in countries such as China, Japan and Thailand, which runs over six rounds and requires each rider to compete on a Honda NSF250R - it appears possible the new initiative won't run in line with MSV's BSB series.

“The philosophy,” of Britain's national series “is different” to what Dorna has planned, said Ezpeleta. He is, however, due to meet with MSV boss Jonathan Palmer and BSB race director Stuart Higgs in the coming weeks to discuss the initiative further.

Ezpeleta's plans follow Dorna's setting up and backing of the all-new 'British Talent Team' Moto3 squad, which will run Scot John McPhee on factory supported Hondas in the junior class in 2017.

“The [British Talent] cup will be in '18 for sure,” confirmed Ezpeleta, while attending Movistar Yamaha's team presentation in Madrid last Thursday.

“This year in Silverstone will be the selection for the cup, as we normally do it. This is fixed. We have the budget and we decided to do it… next year. This year there will be the 'British Talent Team' with John McPhee.

“Then we want to do something similar to the Asia Talent Cup in 2018 for British people. We don't know yet the calendar which races there will be but we want to make the selection in Silverstone.

“The way will be similar as our cups have always been,” he explained. “We will tell the people to come. I imagine in the UK there will be a lot of people claiming to be accepted.

"Then we will choose obviously for age and qualities and something like that. We will test in Silverstone and then the idea is to do the same as we are doing with the Asian Talent Cup. All the equipment will be coming from us so we will teach the people.”

The move comes ahead of an announcement on the changing of Dorna's internal structure. Ex-racer Alberto Puig will head a new programme called 'Promotion and Talent', aimed at assessing other Grand Prix feeder series currently in place, like the Red Bull Rookies Cup and the ADAC Cup.

“[It's to evaluate] All the things we are doing together and try and have an idea what is working,” said Ezpeleta. “[It is about] Trying to connect, to see who is good. If they are we can bring him to [a top level race]. For example, the two winners of the ADAC Cup will be making the last two races of the FIM CEV this year.”

On the reasons behind this new drive in recruiting more British talent, Ezpeleta pointed to BT Sport's TV deal and the broadcaster's possible airing of the series, as well as Cal Crutchlow's recent successes 'revitalising' interest in the British Grand Prix.

“We talk with the television and we think it is important,” he said. “Also, now we see that the success of Cal and other British riders this has revitalised a lot the British Grand Prix. This is the place to do it.

“In principle we think we need to create that and we have the support of the television, this is something we believe in. It's not just that but if you don't show on television the people don't realise how important it is.”

Marc Marquez hits the slopes... on a MotoGP bike! by Crash_net

As to the possibility of running this new 'Talent Cup' during British Superbike race weekends, he added, “Recently Jonathan Palmer acquired Donington.

“I will, I think at the beginning of February, have a meeting here with Jonathan Palmer and Stuart Higgs to talk. They told us that maybe they are organising something like that but I think the philosophy is different.

“Their competition is one between different brands. We have a mono-brand cup and it's not exactly the same. We do that because before no one was doing that. If they were already doing that we are happy to collaborate with them.”

Ezpeleta was unable to give specifics on names that will be involved in the running of the 'Talent Cup', other than ex-Grand Prix winner Jeremy McWilliams and, of course, Puig. “McWilliams will be involved also,” Ezpeleta confirmed.

Tagged as: Cal Crutchlow , McPhee

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January 23, 2017 3:22 PM

It is great that this is going to be setup but a sad reflection on the ACU. This is the sort of thing the ACU should be organizing and running rather than having to wait for Dorna to step in and fill the gap. There are plenty of talented youngsters in the UK but they get as far as British Motostar and then get stuck because they cannot raise the budget or interest to either go to Spain or into Moto3. They then end up going Stock 600, Supersport and Superbike meaning they loose the chance to make it to GPs. Superbikes are great and we have the best series in the world but it produces WSB world champs and not MOTOGP titles. To put it in the context the only 2 championships the ACU are backing this year are for 250CC and 125CC classes running at club meetings! Both winners last year are the wrong side of 40...


January 24, 2017 5:04 PM

exloko: so sorry but not agree, that people have all UK infrastructure that is great, but they refuse to use because they have a mental problem and a money controll will, for me, pay the price of not be part of DorMa(fia) style if form of not have MGP champions is a low price instead of still have the honor of always, and not claudicate and put the head down for no any other reason that have some potential MGP champ, WSBK is equal or even better since last 20 years, thats cannot be substitute by nothing, but at the same time i recognice the sound of inevitable, like Mr. Anderson VS Smith Agent at the subway tunnel, what a shame the result in this case is the opposite, but hey, they have to put it all to obtain his sociopathic controll
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