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Basem Wasef

Red Bull Rookie MotoGP Series Puts Teens in the Saddle

By August 11, 2011

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Red Bull Rookies

You may love to ride, but would you allow your 13 to 16 year-old to race? What some parents view as the ultimate opportunity is another parent's nightmare.

Red Bull's MotoGP Rookies Cup makes it amazingly easy for teens who qualify for the series: racers only need to show up at competitions with a guardian, and the world of racing falls at their fingertips. A 125cc KTM race bike, Alpinestars gear, Dunlop tires, and a cadre of mechanics, spare parts, and support systems are made available, grooming the riders for a shot at the big time. I caught up with Rookie racers Cameron Beaubier and J.D. Beach at the Mugello Grand Prix three years ago, and they're already making a name for themselves in the AMA Daytona SportBike series.

But youth racing isn't without its horror stories; 14 year-old Red Bull Rookie racer Toriano Wilson was killed at Virginia International Raceway in 2008, and 13 year-old Peter Lenz was fatally struck by another rider at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a United States Grand Prix Racers Union event last year, once again proving that competition always carries grave risks.

Red Bull highlights their Rookie MotoGP series in the digital August issue of their Red Bulletin, and as I've asked before I'll ask again: Would you encourage your kid to race a motorcycle?

Source: RedBulletin.com


Photos Red Bull
Click for Review

August 12, 2011 at 11:25 am
(1) Dave G says:

On the left you have a photo of rookies racing. In the middle an article about rookies dying on the track. On the right an insurance ad showing a motorcycle crashing. I have no problem with the photo or the article. The ad turns my stomach, get rid of it.

August 12, 2011 at 11:53 am
(2) Pete says:

First class series….these are most definitley the future of MC racing.
If my son had an interest in racing a bike, I’d be all over it, and give him every possible help I could.
Caution though – there’s only ONE way to make a small fortune racing a bike…start with a large fortune.

As far as the ad goes…on one level it’s better to see an insurance company acknowledging the issues, as opposed to slamming the door in your face if you happen to own a sport bike.

Beaubier! He surpised a whole bunch of people at the last race…not the least of which was Eslick and Herrin. Keep an eye on him.

August 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm
(3) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:


There’s a strict line here between advertising and editorial, so I have control over the ads… and trust me, that’s a good thing.


August 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm
(4) Dave G says:


I know you don’t have any control over the ads. I was just expressing my displeasure at having to look at a motorcycle accident everytime I read about motorcycles. It’s not just your page I find it on.

Dave G

August 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm
(5) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:

I hear ya, Dave.

Those looking for motorcycle wrecks usually troll YouTube…


August 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm
(6) Pete says:

Those are the same people who go to pig races…they just go to watch a pig crash.

August 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm
(7) Mike Hannan says:

Back to the racing, if the current crop of aliens at the top of MotoGP are anything to go by 13 might be too late to start. Stoner’s parents mortgaged the family home and took him to Europe to race when he was a wee lad. He was already a champion by the time he was a teenager.

Lorenzo, Rossi and co had it easier because they are Europeans and MotoGP is a European circus with European feeder competitions, but they also started as children.

I don’t know if this is good thing or not, but seems that the new breed all started very young indeed. Ad to this the difficulties of getting into the world comp if you are an American, Aussie or Kiwi and you can see part of the reason there aren’t more non-Euros in the comp.

regards, Mike H

August 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(8) Pete says:

I don’t know if being an Aussie is such a liability in the world of professional motorcycle racing.
You mention the Primma Donna quite prominently….let’s not forget Troy Corser & Troy Bayliss…5 WSBK championships between them. Corser is past him prime and it’s time he hung it up. Bayliss might the best SBK rider ever.
Then there’s Mat Mladin…enough AMA SBK championships that it’s unlikely the record will ever be matched.

August 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm
(9) Mike Hannan says:

Sure Pete,

SBK is a pretty open competition. Lots of good riders from lots of countries. But, MotoGP, run by a Spanish management company, with four rounds on the Iberian Peninsular, isn’t like that at all! It is much harder to get a start there.

Hopefully we will see Ben Spies hit his straps over the next year or so. It is amazing how much extra attention a sport gets when there is a local hero.

Regards, Mike

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