RAC­ING

If you’re of an age where you think to­day’s po­lice­men look young enough to still be at school, then bike rac­ing’s up and com­ers are go­ing to raise eye­brows…

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS - with Ju­lian Ry­der Bike’s new rac­ing ex­pert, he lives track­side

The fu­ture of rac­ing is in safe hands, but don’t they look young…

THE SEARCH FOR tal­ent is a se­ri­ous busi­ness. Thank good­ness then for search-for-a-star se­ries such as the Bri­tish Tal­ent Cup and Red Bull Rook­ies. But what to do be­fore th­ese au­di­tions, or if you don’t make the cut? Su­per­sport 300: the cham­pi­onship run along­side World Su­per­bike, or Ju­nior Su­per­sport as it is known in BSB. Bikes have to be Euro­pean A2 li­cence le­gal, orig­i­nally that meant Honda CBR500R, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and 400, Yamaha R3 and KTM RC390 and 390R. The usual very strict Su­per­stock re­stric­tions ap­ply so you can’t change much apart from the exhaust – the world se­ries al­lows a few more changes than the do­mes­tic se­ries, but the em­pha­sis is on af­ford­abil­ity. This is the first year of the class at BSB and the or­gan­is­ers are still get­ting the reg­u­la­tions sorted. There are dif­fer­ent min­i­mum weights and rev lim­its and at the world se­ries a com­bined rider-and-bike min­i­mum weight. At BSB rev lim­its have been al­tered twice al­ready and although the or­gan­is­ers weighed bike and rider at the re­cent Snet­ter­ton round there is a feel­ing that the rules shouldn’t be changed again un­less the data pro­vides a com­pelling ar­gu­ment. Cur­rently the Kawasaki is the bike to beat in BSB, a Ninja has won four out of five races with KTM pick­ing up one. In the Worlds it’s two each to Kawasaki and KTM with Yamaha get­ting their first win in the last round be­fore writ­ing. No CBRS? Well, not yet. Honda brought one along to Snet­ter­ton and are look­ing at the idea of a ju­nior team. The BSB or­gan­is­ers have a track record of clever, prag­matic ad­just­ments to tech­ni­cal reg­u­la­tions so ex­pect fur­ther lev­el­ling of the play­ing field. So has the new class pro­duced any new stars? Maybe. At world level ex Red Bull Rook­ies star Marc Gar­cia won in 2017. This year Ana Car­rasco, fast enough to fin­ish eighth in a Moto3 GP, is lead­ing on her crowd­funded Kawasaki with an­other ex-gp rider Luca Grün­wald also do­ing some win­ning on his KTM. Those two are 21 and 23 years old, re­spec­tively and Grün­wald won a Ger­man tal­ent search cham­pi­onship be­fore scor­ing points once in 23 Moto3 GPS. So maybe you should look at teenage In­done­sian Galang Hen­dra Pratama who took Yamaha’s first win of the season af­ter dom­i­nat­ing at Brno. In the UK the Kawasakis have dom­i­nated in the hands of 20-year old North­ern Ir­ish­man Eu­nan Mcglinchey, an ex-mo­tocrosser who dom­i­nated Ir­ish su­per­twins rac­ing in his first season of tar­mac rac­ing. Look­ing for a younger tal­ent? Keep an eye on 15-year-old Will Lathrope from Por­tishead, he spent most of Snet­ter­ton hav­ing his KTM’S paint re­moved by Kawasakis blow­ing by on the straights and then rid­ing round them in the cor­ners. He got a podium. Why are we talk­ing about Bri­tish rac­ers in their late teens as prospects and a 21-year old Spa­niard as past it? Take Fabio Qu­atararo, he is cur­rently

‘So has the new class pro­duced any new stars. Maybe…’

re­mind­ing the Moto2 field why he won two Ju­nior World ti­tles by the time he was 15. He is in his fourth year in the Motogp pad­dock and be­ing talked about as a pos­si­ble Yamaha satel­lite rider in Motogp next year. Fabio is 19. He started rac­ing when he was four, then moved to Spain to race in the Cata­lan Cham­pi­onship. He won the 50cc class at ten and the 70cc class at 11. It took him two years to win the 80s be­fore mov­ing to the Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onship. He got to Moto3 GPS at 15 hav­ing, ef­fec­tively, been a fac­tory rider for two years. That’s what we’re up against.

Su­per­sport 300 fea­tures a great mix of bikes in­clud­ing Kawasaki Ninja 300, Yamaha YZF R3 and KTM RC390R

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