World Superbike star Jonathan Rea will be on hand to assess the skills of 28 budding young riders in Northern Ireland this week as part of the 'Red Bull Under My Wing' programme.

Pata Honda star Rea will cast his eye over 28 riders at the Nutts Corner circuit in Co Antrim on Thursday and Friday.

The aspiring crop of hopefuls will have the chance to benefit from expert tuition from Rea and will participate in a series of workshops and be judged on a variety of qualities including rider technique, race style, bike set-up knowledge and communication skills.

The on-track sessions will not be timed and one lucky winner will have the chance to travel to a round of the World Superbike Championship in 2013 and take part in a one-on-one track session with Rea later this year.

Each of the participants have been selected by the sport's governing bodies in Northern Ireland, including the MCUI, MRA and YMSA.

Almost a decade ago, Red Bull began its successful partnership with Ulster star Rea and the 'Red Bull Under My Wing' project offers the Ballyclare rider the opportunity to give something back to the local motorcycling scene.

Rea said: "I was in my mid-teens and spotted an opportunity in my local paper to compete for a place on the Red Bull Rookies Programme.

"After completing the heats in Spain, I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to be selected out of hundreds of young hopefuls for the Red Bull Rookies team.

"I'm very proud to say that I have been a Red Bull Athlete ever since and now it's my turn to support projects like 'Red Bull Under My Wing', which hope to discover some young, new talent, and give them the leg up and opportunities they need to follow their dream in motorcycling and maybe make a career out of it; just like Red Bull did for me all those years ago."

The competing riders - aged from 14 to 17 - will also be judged by former MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams, who has highlighted the importance of giving young riders the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

"Red Bull Under My Wing will give Ireland's top young riders a chance to showcase their skills and the opportunity to learn from one of the world's best in our own Jonathan Rea," said McWilliams.

"We're looking forward to welcoming them all to Nutts Corner."


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