World Superbike star Jonathan Rea was joined by former Grand Prix racer Jeremy McWilliams as the pair assessed a young crop of Irish riders at a special Red Bull-backed event in Northern Ireland last week.

The pair oversaw the 'Red Bull Under My Wing' programme at the Irish championship Nutts Corner circuit near Belfast, where 23 young hopefuls took part in a two-day programme to earn a place in the prestigious 2014 Red Bull Rookies series, which runs on the European undercard of the MotoGP championship.

Out on the track, the competitors - aged between 13-17 - were assessed on style, technique and corner entry by Pata Honda rider Rea.

They also participated in trackside workshops held by Rea and McWilliams, who gave expert tuition on their performances.

At the conclusion of the event, the two winners were named as Kia McGreevy from Ballynahinch and Kevin Keyes from Edenderry in Offaly.

Rea said: "What an opportunity for our two winners, something I experienced over ten years ago with my Red Bull Rookies selection, just like these lads I was also in my teens.

"All the competitors have been terrific to work with during the past two days."

McWilliams said he hoped the project had provided the budding young motorcycle riders with a 'stepping stone' in the sport.

"Ireland has a history of producing motorcycle racers and there is a wealth of talent out there," said McWilliams.

"We are hopeful that through our workshops and track sessions we have given all the young participants a stepping stone to take them forward in their racing career."