Young rider racing off to Spain
AT JUST 14, a promising George motorcyclist is already preparing for his second international race cup.
Ricardo Otto, of the Otto Racing Team, owned by his father Riaan Otto – a former motorcyclist himself – is excited to have been selected to take part in the Red Bull Rookies Cup selection trials at the Almeria circuit in Spain next month.
The teenager has been practising hard at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante Circuit this week in preparation for the international event.
“I am excited and quite confident about going there and I believe I will do well,” Ricardo said.
Having started riding casually at the age of four, Ricardo recently took part in the Adac Junior Cup race held at the Autodromo Brno circuit in the Czech Republic on the MotoGP weekend.
He qualified in 22nd position on the grid, finishing 19th overall and 12th in his class. The KTM390 race was held last month.
Ricardo’s sister, Zante Otto, who also rides for and manages the Otto Racing Team, said Ricardo had found the international racing circuit quite different to local tracks.
“It’s a bit different from what we usually train on and the track is so much longer than the ones in South Africa. After his first international ride, we started riding more at practise to get him used to longer tracks,” she said.
Since there are no race tracks in George, Ricardo regularly travels to Port Elizabeth to practise at Scribante, where he also used to race before the age restrictions were changed.
Home-schooled due to his busy schedule, Ricardo has his heart set on racing as a career.
“Because I spend so much time on the track, I don’t really get much time to go to school so I just do home-schooling. Racing is my life and I won’t give it up for anything,” the confident young motorcyclist said.
Ricardo said he hoped that his participation in the Red Bull Rookies Cup selection trials would be the first step to paving his way to taking part in the next season of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
“I really hope to make it and if I do make it then it will be a dream come true, but if I don’t, then I will come back here, race 600s and go back to try again,” he said.
Ricardo leaves on October 13 for the three-day trials.
READY, STEADY, GO: Ricardo Otto, 14, takes a break from practising at the Aldo Scribante Circuit in preparation for the Red Bull Rookies Cup trials in Spain