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…
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