‘Stoner impressed me so much in Superteens’
Ian Newton has been nurturing British racing talent for 20 years
“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