Barry Burrell, one of the five young hopefuls selected at the Red Bull Rookie Academy Day in Rockingham, today announced his withdrawal from the programme.

Burrell was due to go to the final showdown in Cartagna, Spain later this month but instead will be racing in this year's BMW Boxer Cup.

"I was very flattered to be chosen as a finalist in the Red Bull Rookie search and am obviously disappointed not to be taking it further. However, the BMW offer will give me the chance to travel all around the world and, as a sixteen year old it was too good an opportunity to miss," noted Burrell. "It has been great spending time on and off the track with the current Rookie team and I wish the remaining four finalists all the very best."

Red Bull Rookie Team manager Robin Appleyard added: "Barry has a great deal of potential and I'm sure he'll be successful riding the BMW in 2003. It's a shame to lose him but we're still left with four incredible riders and it will be a tough decision to choose only one."

The remaining four who will be travelling to the final in Spain on 28 February are: Ashley Beech (14), Daniel Cooper (14), Jonathan Rea (15) and Michael Robertson (14). They will go out with the current Red Bull Rookies, Guy Farbrother and Midge Smart where the final assessment will take place.

The lucky winner will stay on to test with the whole team before embarking on the first British Superbike 125cc race of the season at Silverstone in March.



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