New year, new Junior Talent Team: Engines on for Estori

2018-03-21 02:10
In 2018, there will be a new presence in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship: the Junior Talent Team. Promoting and running talents from different backgrounds and paths on the Road to MotoGP™, the Junior Talent Team unifies four team names under the same umbrella - uniting the efforts of Dorna talent promotion programs with those of the sponsors and partners who provide important backing to young riders, teams and projects.

Now, the first round of the FIM CEV Repsol is appearing on the horizon and the engines are firing up for the Circuito do Estoril outside Lisbon, Portugal. So who will be lining up with the Junior Talent Team this year? Five riders are confirmed:

#31 Gerry Salim (Astra Honda Racing Team)
#32 Ai Ogura (Asia Talent Team)
#33 Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team)
#34 Tom Booth-Amos (British Talent Team)
#35 Somkiat Chantra (AP Honda Racing Thailand)

Gerry Salim is a new face in the FIM CEV Repsol as he graduates from the Asia Talent Cup, with Ogura, Kunii and 2016 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion Somkiat Chantra from the same background on the Road to MotoGP™. Japanese rider Ogura will be one hoping to lead from the front; looking for another FIM CEV Repsol win after his maiden victory taken at Jerez last year.

Tom Booth-Amos, meanwhile, flies the flag for British Talent promotion. The reigning British Motostar Champion will be competing full-time on the international stage for the first time in 2018; the British Talent project’s FIM CEV Repsol representative as the British Talent Cup also gets underway in the UK this season.

After some incredible successes in the past for the structure including race wins, podiums and some awesome track action, the newly-named Junior Talent Team will be looking to build on that record before pushing the project forward to new heights in 2018. That begins in Estoril from the 23rd to 25th March, with one Moto3™ race on the program that first weekend.

To get the season in gear, a three-day Winter Training camp put the riders through their paces on the 23rd to 25th February - with some cycling in the morning before it was engines on as they switched back to motorbikes in the afternoon. Then, there was a test on track at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia on the 28th February. In fifteen minute sessions throughout the day, the riders were up to speed quickly and there were only two crashes – one for Tom Booth-Amos and one for Gerry Salim; riders ok.
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Dorna Sports, in the search for worldwide talent, has intensified the sporting structure around talent promotion for 2018. The Junior Talent Team unifies the best riders from the Asia Talent Cup and British Talent Cup, creating one sporting structure in the FIM CEV Repsol whilst retaining the individual identities of each contributor to the project. The Junior Talent Team is run by Dorna as part of its Talent Promotion Department.

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