This year’s Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Selection Event is the latest to be added to the chopping block as Covid wreaks havoc on international travel, as well as local events, with it being unclear who would be able to attend.
Within the next few weeks a number of the applicants will be invited to join the 2022 Rookies Cup, with the normal invitation selection process to be followed, based on the established strength of the applicants. Applications are now closed for the 2022 Season.
In previous year’s a Golden Bib competition has also been run, so that supporters could vote for the rider that they favoured to wear the Golden Bib at the Selection Event. This year a virtual Golden Bib campaign so that enthusiasts can support their favoured Applicant.
As in previous year voting for the Golden Bib will have no direct or immediate effect on the chance of an Applicant being invited to join the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in 2022.
There’s hope the international situation will have stabilised so that the full Selection Event can be run in 2022. The Selection Process will open again in the spring of 2022 for applications to join the Rookies Cup in 2023.
2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Round 6 – Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring
David Alonso swept the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Austrian GP round at Red Bull Ring, taking two wins and extending his overall standings lead. In Race 1 that was a win from David Munoz and Tatchakorn Buasri, with New Zealand’s Cormac Buchanan finishing 21st.
In Race 2 Alonso won by 0.101s, ahead of Tatchakorn Buasri with Ivan Ortola a distant third, narrowly claiming the final podium position from Taiyo Furusato. Comac Buchanan had a much improved Race 2, finishing 20th, battling with a group of four riders covering 17th through 20th.
“It’s hard to know what to write about that. No excuses – simply struggled throughout the race  and then copped a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits to boot. I kept making too many mistakes in the early part of the race and the group disappeared on me. I just couldn’t find the pace I know I have. I am gutted with the performance knowing I am capable of much more. A lot to process and work out before tomorrow’s rematch. I’m determined history will not repeat.
“I leave stunning Austria and the Red Bull Ring with a smile! P20, what a difference 24 hours can make. Race two Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup was a humdinger! With my lap times a vast improvement and into the low 1.41s, I stayed in the hunt and enjoyed the intensity of a group battle for 17th overall with just a smidge separating us at the. Satisfied with that performance and it gives us plenty to build on for the final round at Motorland Aragon Circuit next month. Kudos Craig Muirhead at Camino Coaching for the debrief unjumbling my head space last night. Awesome job on the Aleix Martinez – I appreciate your efforts and am lucky to have you as my mechanic. Now it’s back to the UK to prepare for the MotoGP at Silverstone on August 29. Shout out to my Microlise Cresswell Racing team-mates COG Racing. and Kiyano Veijer for locking out the top two steps on the Honda British Talent Cup podium today. Let’s go for the trifecta! Reading the support here after a tough day was massive and it’s awesome to know you’re all backing me on this crazy journey.”
Barcelona’s Alex Millan found form and grabbed pole position for the second weekend in Spielberg. The 16-year-old hit the front early in Qualifying and kept getting quicker on the KTM.
David Muñoz was second fastest, boosting his Cup hopes as the 15-year-old Spaniard’s arch rival in the points standings, David Alonso, will start from the second row after a frustrating Qualifying even though he was quick through Free Practice.
Mugello debut winner Taiyo Furusato, the 16-year-old Japanese, completes the front row, making good use of more track time in Austria. Cormac Buchanan meanwhile qualified 21st on the seventh row.
David Alonso, the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup leader, put in a perfect performance to take victory over arch rival David Muñoz and Tatchakorn Buasri. The 15-year-old Colombian replicated his very cool and classy Race 2 victory from the previous weekend at Spielberg, winning by 3.8 seconds.
It had been an incredible early battle with a huge pack of KTMs chasing across the Austrian countryside. Alonso settled himself in and then put the pressure on. Once he got away, the chasing pack could do nothing and for the last handful of laps it came down to a five rider chase group with Muñoz and Buasri swapping places with Taiyo Furusato, Dani Holgado and Matteo Bertelle.
On the penultimate lap Holgado bumped Furusato wide leaving Buasri and Muñoz to get away. The Spanish 15-year-old was more controlled and took second ahead of the 20-year-old Thai.
“It is so good to get another win. I am surprised because in the second weekend all riders got faster and we knew it was going to be hard. In the first laps, like the other race, I warmed things up, made sure the tyres were good. Then I tried a little bit harder. The first laps I ran alone were not so good but the pace was good so 4 of us got away. I was putting in a lot of effort, I kept pushing and there were some mistakes from the riders behind. That let me go by one second and from that it was much easier. I pushed every lap and was trying to be faster and I managed it. I’m super happy because the feeling with the bike and the pace was incredible. Starting the second weekend like this is very positive. Tomorrow will be even harder so we are prepared.”
“The race was very good, it was again a very fast race. My feeling with the bike is very good, better than last weekend. Alonso was very fast today. Tomorrow is another day, a new opportunity. It is very difficult for me, I know that finishing behind Alonso is not good enough, I have to change that, I am only half happy, I have to find something more. This was a step forward from last weekend, I need to find another step tomorrow.”
“For me it was a very difficult race, I made a lot of mistakes, first lap to last lap. I made a mistake with maybe 6 laps left then I stayed in position. Then I pushed again and got up to 2nd but made a mistake on the last lap in that fight and finished 3rd but I am so happy. I am happy to be battling at the front but I need to stop making mistakes, tomorrow I want to try to win, I will push again.”
A third race win in a row for David Alonso gives the Colombian 15-year-old a strong claim to the 2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Right on his tail all the way to the Spielberg finish line was Tatchakorn Buasri, the 20-year-old Thai, with Spanish 17-year-old Ivan Ortolá leading the chasing pack.
It was a fabulous 13 KTM lead battle for most of the race and Alonso could not break away as he had done in the Austrian GP Race 1 on Saturday. Arch rival David Muñoz was particularly determined to hold on but then so nearly crashed and his big save gave Alonso and Buasri breathing room.
David Muñoz, the 15-year-old Spaniard, finally crossed the line 6th and is now 38 points adrift with two races and 50 points still to be claimed at Motorland Aragon.
“It was a great weekend since Free Practice, yesterday a good race. Today we know that it was going to be hard but well, from the first lap I was in the group and then I tried to push, but it was not possible. I was happy with my pace but the other riders were competitive in this race and I had some more laps in the group, fighting. Some riders were on the limit, a bit aggressive but I managed well. Then I had another opportunity, and I pushed harder. Finally I could do it and only Tatchakorn Buasri was behind me. That was perfect because in 4 races here we win 3, it is incredible for the championship, for my confidence. Most important is that each lap I do with this bike I enjoy a lot, I have a super, super good feeling and I am ready for Aragon.”
“The Red Bull Ring is a second home for me. I am so happy with the race today, it was a little bit difficult because I made a mistake in turn one in the beginning of the race and went back to position 9. Then I was pushing, pushing, passing, passing, then I could follow Alonso. On the last lap I wanted to overtake but you know, he is very fast. Still, today I am so happy. I will keep trying to win, to concentrate, more training, keep trying.”
“This weekend was amazing, in the first race I suffered a lot in the group, I pushed a lot. I looked at the race last night and saw what I could do, what I could improve. This podium for me, it tastes like a victory, because of yesterday’s race. Thanks to everyone who supports me.”
“The race today was very fast, for me with the bike it was difficult. A big moment near the end, it was almost a disaster, right on the limit.”
2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Round 4 – Sachsenring, Germany
Matteo Bertelle has continued his impressive performance at Sachsenring over the weekend, with the 17-year-old Italian taking pole after being fast all day, while consistently fast Rookies Cup rider Dani Holgado grabbed second on the grid ahead of Indonesian 17-year-old Mario Aji.
Just a second covered the top 13 KTM RC250 Rs with Mugello’s debut victor Taiyo Furusato heading up the second row. Alongside the 15-year-old Japanese sat 16-year-old Marcos Uriarte and fellow Spaniard and Cup points leader 15-year-old David Muñoz.
The grid positions were up in the air ahead of the start of Race 1 though as some ‘tactical riding’ drew the attention of Race Direction.
“Finally a pole position, it’s incredible for me because the last time we were here in the Sachsenring it wasn’t good at all. But this year I have a good pace and a good mentality. Today I have a good feeling with the bike especially when using a new tyre and I’m ready for tomorrow. I hope to make a perfect start and then let’s enjoy the race.”
Harrison Vought lined up on the grid in 22nd, while New Zealand’s Cormac Buchanan was 24th, both on the eighth row.
Sachsenring provided magnificent action as always with 14 KTMs battling for the lead for most of the race. At the flag it was Colombian David Alonso who held the slightest advantage over Marcos Uriarte and David Muñoz.
“It was a very difficult race because 19 laps on this circuit is very tiring, also because of the very hot weather. I was in 7th position on the grid, in the first laps I was calm. Then I tried to push, make my own pace and get away from the group, but it wasn’t possible. So I let them pass, waited to the last laps and I knew that going onto the last lap it was clear, I needed to be first. I was riding well and I then just needed to defend my position and that’s what I did. It’s very positive because after a race long battle I could take another win and that’s very good for my confidence. The tyres did drop off but for me it was good because I could also be fast on old tyres and it was not a problem. At the end they passed me on the brakes but ran wide and I could make a good last corner and win.”
Alonso’s third win of the season puts the 15-year-old back on top of the points table but only by six-points from David Muñoz, the 15-year-old Spaniard, who did a fantastic job of recovering from a long lap penalty.
“Today was very good, the race was very hard because the tyres dropped off a lot. It was difficult to manage the race but I pushed every lap to my limit and I am very happy to have finished second. Tomorrow I hope to win.”
“It was very hot and hard today at the Sachsenring but it was a good race. It was difficult for me because of the long lap penalty but I managed to fight back to the front. I did go for the lead on the last lap on the bakes at the bottom of the hill but then was wide and lost the advantage. Now I must focus on tomorrow and I am looking for more.”
Third on the Cup table is Dani Holgado who was in the lead battle as always but was just out of podium contention on the final lap thanks to a three rider fall in turn one that split the eight-rider lead group. He crossed the line fourth, just ahead of another 16-year-old Spaniard Iván Ortolá.
“It was a difficult race for me today because in the lead group on the last lap there was a crash with Bertelle, Muñoz (Daniel) and Furusato so I lost distance to the first three. But it was still enough for 4th position, good points for the championship. Tomorrow we have another opportunity, 4th is not bad but I prefer first position.”
Australian Harrison Voight finished the opening race 12th after seven weeks away from racing, just behind Sho Nishimura. Cormac Buchanan meanwhile finished 17th.
In Race 2 Matteo Bertelle won his first Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race in dramatic fashion. The 17-year-old Italian was in the lead battle all the way and managed to avoid a five rider fall at the start of the final laps that took out the rest of the lead group.
After his solitary last lap he crossed the line over two-seconds ahead of Daniel Muñoz with Tatchakorn Buasri granted third after Diogo Moreira was penalised a place for a last lap track limits infraction.
It had been another incredible battle and with the laps counting down Saturday’s winner David Alonso looked most comfortable in the lead. As the pack went onto the last lap he was under great pressure from Daniel Holgado, David Muñoz, Marcos Uriarte, Iván Ortolá and Bertelle.
The six all funnelled into Turn 1 and simply didn’t fit, Bertelle managed to back out of it but the other five ended in the gravel, fortunately without serious injury.
“It has been a fantastic weekend. Yesterday was an unlucky day but today was a lucky day. I am so sorry for the other guys who crashed but this is the race. I had a very good feeling with the bike and I say thanks to my mechanic Frederico and everyone who supports me so much and I will see you in Austria.”
“It was a very difficult race because I have pain in my arm all week. But I am happy for the podium. I still want more because I couldn’t run with the first group in the last laps. For this I am not happy but I am training and working for the next races. I still need to improve a lot of things and I want to battle at the front at the Red Bull Ring and have the rhythm to be fighting at the front right to the last laps.”
“Today I am very happy because I improved a lot, I was fighting in the front group. In the last few laps I lost the leaders as I had a big highside as I opened the throttle and then there was a big gap to the lead group. Then the front group had a big crash and I was then fighting for 2nd place. It was a great last lap battle and finally I could get the podium. I am very excited and happy with the result. I think we made big improvements and I can’t wait to go racing again.”
“Today I made a good start but in the first corner I touched with some rider and then I was at the back of the group more or less, waiting until the last laps. I felt good and also the riders were pushing hard so I stayed there. Then with 5 laps to go I got into the lead and I pushed hard. I was happy that I could do good laps alone. It was fast but I could not get away. In the last lap I was second but going to be first then one rider hit us all and that finished the race.”
Aussie Harrison Voight had a better second race taking a personal best eighth-place finish from a 21st start, tagging onto the lead group and battling as high as third on the final lap.
“My goal for Race 1 was to finish, and gain some confidence back after not racing in seven weeks. To finish being inside the points was something I didn’t expect. I had a great start, was aggressive on the first five laps and just went for any gap that I seen available, definitely made some passes in places that I didn’t think it was possible to stay on… I kept pushing to my limit and tagged onto the back of the group. On the final lap I was in the battle for third place! Beyond happy with the progress I made this weekend and I was the sixth fastest rider in the race, less then two tenths having the fastest lap of the race including only being three-seconds off the race winner! Thanks to those that made it possible, feels good to be back racing.”
Cormac Buchanan came home in 16th in Race 2, beating Bartholome Perrin.
The second weekend at Red Bull Ring for the Red Bull Rookies Cup proved a mixed outing for Billy Van Eerde, who improved on last weekend’s qualifying, only to receive a three-second penalty in Race 1, before high-siding out of fourth position with just three laps to go in Race 2.
Pedro Acosta made it a clean sweep of all four Red Bull Ring races, although competition proved steep, with less than a tenth of a second separating the winner from Daniel Holgado in Race 1, and Ivan Ortola and Daniel Munoz in Race 2.
Friday at Red Bull Ring saw Pedro Acosta claim pole heading into the weekend’s races, topping the ranks of the KTM RC 250 R riders, with just a second separating the top-10, with Daniel and David Muñoz next fastest. Australian Billy van Eerde qualified eighth, improving on the previous weekend, 0.799-seconds off Acosta, sharing, “That’s better than last weekend, last week I was 20th on the grid so I’m in much better shape to try and get to the front and on the podium where I was last year.”
Another brilliant ride and perfect last lap from 16-year-old Spaniard Pedro Acosta laid claim to the first Styrian Grand Prix victory at the Red Bull Ring. The same four riders filled the top positions as last weekend, although Daniel Holgado jumped in front of David Muñoz this time with David Alonso fourth again.
As usual a huge pack of KTM RC 250 Rs battled at the front of the third Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season but it shook out to just six by the last lap.
Acosta settled it at the second tight right hander letting the opposition out-brake themselves, proving it’s not going to be easy because while Acosta has a year of Rookies Cup experience the chasing pack are in their first season and learning all the time.
Acosta took the Race 1 win from Daniel Holgado by 0.053, with David Munoz in third to complete the podium. Ivan Ortola and Daniel Munoz completed the top five.
18-year-old Australian Billy van Eerde did manage to lead mid race, “At least that’s something. I’m happy about that and happy that we have the pace to run in the front of the group but late in the race I lost it and couldn’t get it back. I still need to do more and be able to be at the front all the way.”
So keen was van Eerde to get back to the front that he exceeded track limits too often and a post-race three-second penalty dropped him from eighth where he crossed the line to 11th and just five points.
It was by the narrowest of margins that Pedro Acosta completed his clean sweep of Red Bull MotoGP victories in Austria in Race 2. The 16-year-old just scraped his final victory from the hands of Daniel Muñoz at the final turn when the 14-year-old ran wide and dropped to third behind Iván Ortolá for another all Spanish Podium. David Alonso and David Salvador took fourth and fifth.
As in all four races at the Red Bull Ring over these two weekends a hungry pack of KTM RC 250 Rs fought for the lead with the top 15 being covered by less than two seconds for much of the 17 laps.
“I don’t have words to describe how I feel about this best ever start to a racing season for me. It was another very hard race, they have all been hard. With each race the guys seem to get more and more aggressive in the opening laps so I really had to keep out of trouble. In the middle of the race as the rear tyre dropped off a bit I felt more and more comfortable though, I could slide the bike into the corner and hold the slide on acceleration so that felt good and gave me the confidence at the end. I tried to take the lead in the right place again but this time I had no advantage and had to do the right thing through the last corners.”
Australian Billy van Eerde was once again in the mix, leading the race at one point and running fourth with just three laps to go when he high-sided out of Turn 3, ending his weekend on a sour note after feeling much more confident on the bike for the second race.
Billy van Eerde
“Friday was another difficult day having a few problems with the setup during the free practices. Luckily for qualifying I could find an ok setting to get eighth position in the grid. Race 1 I managed to get to the lead at one point but made a few costly mistakes and lost the front group to finish eighth. Unfortunately I got a three second penalty also after the race for exceeding track limits which ended up placing me 11th. Race 2 we changed a lot on the bike and my feeling was so much better. I was at the front the whole way and with three laps to go I high sided out of turn 3 in P4. I’m disappointed but happy with the improvement throughout these two weekends at the Red Bull Ring.”
A win on Saturday backed up with a second place in Sunday’s Red Bull Rookies Cup finale promoted Australian youngster Billy van Eerde from ninth place in the series to sixth place in the final Red Bull Rookies Cup points standings for 2019.
Billy scored no points in the four opening races of the calendar, but finished the season on a high note with four podium scores across the final five races.
Billy Van Eerde
“That was a great way to end the year, I’m very happy. Perhaps I went a bit early at the end this time, didn’t quite work it the same way as yesterday. The group was a lot bigger today, more finishers, but being on the podium is really good,” he concluded.
David Salvador won what was an incredible Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup finale in Motorland Aragón.
The 15-year-old Spaniard put in a brilliant last lap move and flashed across the line just ahead of Marcos Uriarte and Billy van Eerde with 1.7 seconds covering the first 15 finishers.
Pole sitter Uriarte was immediately penalised a place for exceeding track limits but still climbed onto the podium in third place behind 17-year-old Australian van Eerde.
Lorenzo Fellon was fourth, another great ride from the 15-year-old Frenchman who also has 4 fifths, 3 sixths and 2 sevenths from his first Cup season. He missed a podium in Jerez because of track limits but had a great year to finish fifth in the championship.
15-year-old Spaniard Pedro Acosta worked his way through from ninth and spent plenty of time at the front. He too headed the pack on the last lap and his seventh place finish was good enough to secure him second place in the 2019 Red Bull Rookies Cup.
“I remembered from yesterday that leading onto the back straight is not the best plan so I thought that 4th or 5th would be perfect. I thought it would work but I touched with Noguchi, it happens, that’s racing but it wrecked my plan. Still I am happy with the way I rode and it’s been a great first season in Rookies Cup.”
Cup winner Carlos Tatay did not race the final round as he instead joined the seniors in the Moto3 category at Aragon where the 16-year-old finished a highly creditable 12th.