‘Stoner im­pressed me so much in Su­per­teens’

Ian Newton has been nur­tur­ing Bri­tish rac­ing tal­ent for 20 years

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

“When I re­tired from rac­ing in 1995 af­ter be­ing spon­sored by Aprilia UK for three years, I needed some­thing to do and was ap­proached by them with the idea of set­ting up the Aprilia Su­per­teen Chal­lenge. It is now the long­est-run­ning one-make se­ries in the world and is re­spon­si­ble for launch­ing the ca­reers of top-level Mo­togp, WSB and BSB rid­ers.

“The idea be­hind the race se­ries was to give young rid­ers be­tween the ages of 12 and 19 their first steps into rac­ing. But the key el­e­ments were to en­sure they were com­pet­ing on a level play­ing field on iden­ti­cal Aprilia RS125S, they wouldn’t spend a for­tune do­ing it, and all the time would be learn­ing race craft and how to be a pro­fes­sional racer both on and off the track. It was to be a mo­tor­cy­cle acad­emy where the cream would rise to the top and be spot­ted by teams look­ing for fu­ture stars. And it worked. “Casey Stoner and his fam­ily ar­rived in the UK in 2000 with­out a pot to piss in, but he was so im­pres­sive in the Aprilia Su­per­teens, beat­ing Chaz Davies to the ti­tle, that he was soon snapped up. And so was Chaz. But the story doesn’t stop there. Cal Crutchlow, the Lowes twins, Bradley Smith, Danny Kent, James El­li­son and Leon Camier, to name just a few, all cut their teeth in Aprilia Su­per­teens. “See­ing the kids buzzing around a track and pro­gress­ing in their ca­reers is so sat­is­fy­ing, but the Bri­tish youth rac­ing scene isn’t as strong as it was. We used to have over­sub­scribed grids of 44 rid­ers, this year it was closer to 20, and sadly the Aprilia Su­per­teens Chal­lenge is to be re­placed by a Su­per­teen Chal­lenge (on Aprilia, KTM, Kawasaki and Yamaha bikes). The Aprilia RRV450GP Chal­lenge I look af­ter is still nur­tur­ing fu­ture rac­ing stars.”

‘See­ing kids buzzing around and pro­gress­ing is so sat­is­fy­ing’

Newton was an Aprilia-sup­ported racer, and wanted to give some­thing back

Newton was there at the be­gin­ning ca­reer of Casey Stoner’s im­pres­sive

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