New Stars at the Jerez Test for Rookies Cup 2018 1The twelfth Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season got underway in Jerez today with the preseason test and 25 of the world’s fastest teenagers blowing out the winter cobwebs on the Moto3 spec KTMs.

The first races are not until the Gran Premio Red Bull de España in Jerez on May 5th and 6th but there was enormous enthusiasm to get on with the preparations. “It’s great to be back on the KTM,” enthused 16-year-old Japanese Ryusei Yamanaka. “It’s a bit different to the bike I train on in Japan, the engine braking is different but after a few laps it was OK. I was happy with the way I was riding on new tyres but on a used tyre I need to adapt a bit and the setting should also improve. I’m feeling very good though and looking forward to the rest of the test.”

Pace even though no Race
Filip Salač was quickly up to speed, joined later by Sean Kelly and the Öncü twins Deniz and Can. Salač started last year as one of the Cup favourites but after a great Grand Prix in Jerez where he finished fourth and second, a non Cup crash ruined his season. So the 16-year-old Czech is looking forward to an excellent year. “I’m so happy to be back on the KTM and it feels great. I took it easy early on, running in the engine but then really started to enjoy myself. We had a couple of technical issues to sort out but there are no big changes we need to make to the bike, I feel good on it and the next few days will be really fun.”

Dan Jones, the 16-year-old Welshman has done a lot of work since his Cup debut a year ago. “My riding style has changed a lot and I am already faster than I was at the Grand Prix here last season. It’s really working and talking to Gustl and Dani (Rider coaches Gustl Auinger and Dani Ribalta) makes a lot of difference. I’m happy to be fully fit again and really enjoying it.”

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Learning and turning
Danish 16-year-old Simon Jespersen is starting his first Cup season. “It’s difficult, the level is very high but every time I go out I’m making progress, the lap times are coming down and I’m happy with that. I ride in the CEV on a KTM but there are still a few differences between the bikes that I need to get used to. I also need to get the bike to turn in better, I am losing time there. Really I just need more kilometres on this bike and I will do that over the next few days.”

Today was all about settling in and there is time to press on tomorrow then a rest day on Thursday before the third track day on Friday.

Calendar

Races
1&2 – May 5th & 6th – Jerez, Spain
3 – June 2nd – Mugello, Italy
4&5 – June 30th & July 1st – Assen, Netherlands
6&7 – July 14th & 15th – Sachsenring, Germany
8&9 – August 11th & 12th – Red Bull Ring, Austria
10 – September 8th – Misano, Italy
11&12 – September 22nd & 23rd – Aragón, Spain

Entry List
3 Pasquale Alfano ITA
5 Simon Jespersen DEN
6 Ryusei Yamanaka JPN
7 Barry Baltus BEL
11 Dan Jones GBR
12 Filip Salač CZE
19 Sasha De Vits BEL
22 Peetu Paavilainen FIN
24 Xavier Artigas ESP
28 Adrián Carrasco ESP
29 Billy Van Eerde AUS
30 Max Cook GBR
31 Gerry Salim INA
40 Sean Kelly USA
43 Steward Garcia COL
44 Nicolás Hernández COL
50 Jason Dupasquier SUI
53 Deniz Öncü TUR
61 Can Öncü TUR
62 Aidan Liebenberg RSA
66 Adrián Huertas ESP
83 Meikon Kawakami BRA
88 Matteo Patacca ITA
92 Yuki Kunii JPN
99 Carlos Tatay ESP