Alvaro Carpe leads during Red Bull Rookies Cup Race 2 at the Spanish MotoGP on April 28, 2024.
© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Rookies Cup

How the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup develops world-beating racing talent

The Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup has been a supporting part of the FIM Motorcycle World Championship since 2007, but what is it all about and how does it feed MotoGP™ with world class racing talent?
Written by Philipp Briel
6 min readPublished on
Starting in the premier class of MotoGP™ and then winning the world championship. For many up-and-coming motorcycle racing talents, this is the dream scenario. Not all young racers can fullfil the dream, but the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup has been making this path the glory much easier since 2007. Read on to get the lowdown on everything you need to know about the racing series for young talent.
01

Origins of the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup

Is there a better way to support up-and-coming young talent and prepare them for the journey towards the full motorbike world championship? This was the question Red Bull, Dorna Sports, KTM, Ipone and Alpinestars looked to answer in 2007, when the idea for the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup was born.
Coach Dani Ribalta speaks to riders from the 2017 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup intake.

Dani Ribalta and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

The idea was to create a racing series for up-and-coming racers aged between 14 and 18, who would compete for the title in a championship run during European rounds of the MotoGP™ series and hope to catch the attention of a team in the Moto3™ class and, from there, move up through the world championship levels all the way to the premier MotoGP™ division. It's been running ever since and has proven to be a huge success, seeing future Grand Prix winners and world champions graduate from it's ranks.
02

A history of Grand Prix winners and world champions

Over the 17 years of its existence, the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup has produced a number of star names who have become an integral part of motorbike racing.
For example, French MotoGP™ race winner Johann Zarco secured overall victory in the inaugural 2007 series. He finished on the podium in seven of the season's eight races and was recruited for the Red Bull MotoGP™ Academy the following year. In 2009, Zarco made the leap to the 125cc class – now known as Moto3™ – and the rest is history: he became Moto3™ world champion in 2011, won Moto2™ in 2015 and 2016, and then secured a place in MotoGP™ in 2017.
Johann Zarco competes at the MotoGP Grand Prix Of The Americas on April 12, 2024.

Johann Zarco was the first-ever Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup winner in 2007

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

Brad Binder in action at the Spanish MotoGP on April  28, 2024.

Brad Binder is another Rookies Cup alumni who's won in MotoGP

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

Zarco isn't the only big name to have graduated from the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup to the premier class of motorbike racing. There's also:
  • Brad Binder - 2009 Rookies Cup graduate, 2016 Moto3™ world champion and race-winning Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team leader in MotoGP™ since 2020.
  • Joan Mir - 2013 and 2014 Rookies Cup rider, 2017 Moto3™ world champion, and the 2020 MotoGP™ world champion.
  • Jorge Martín - The 2014 Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup champion, 2018 Moto3™ world champion and MotoGP™ contender since 2021, where he's won six Grands Prix.
  • Pedro Acosta - 2019 Rookies Cup competitor, the 2021 Moto3™ world champion and 2023 Moto2™ world champ stepped up to MotoGP™ for 2024 and has already scored podium finishes.
  • Daniel Holgado - 2020 Rookies Cup graduate and contender for the 2024 Moto3™ world title.
03

Who can take part in the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup?

Apart from the fixed age of 14 to 18 years old, there are virtually no restrictions when it comes to participating in the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup. Both men and women racers can try their luck.
Hakim Danish, Alvaro Carpe, Brian Uriarte on the podium in the Red Bull Rookies Cup Race 2 at the Spanish MotoGP on April 28, 2024.

If you're between 14 and 18, you're eligible to race the series

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

Weight and height do not play a role, although riders who are less than 1.72m tall and weigh less than 62kg have a better chance of being accepted for the series. However, this is not a hard and fast rule – what counts is ability on the track.
Previous racing experience also isn't a must, although previous experience is an advantage if you want to be invited to the Selection Event. This is the stepping stone to the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup.
04

How do you get into the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup?

To take part in the Rookies Cup, interested parties must register on the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup website. There's a strict deadline that must be observed and, in principle, the earlier applications are submitted, the better chance they have of success.
The reason for this is simple: four judges select the 26 participants who'll compete in the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup each season from an average of over 120 applications per year. Thus, the earlier the application is submitted, the more time the judges have to scrutinise the applicants' performance and skills and make their selection.
If rider's application is accepted, the judges will review race and championship results over the course of the year to see what progress the potential candidates make over the course of a season, whether it's in road races or dirt bike events. The judges also want to find out more about the candidates, including their personality, background and experience.
Red Bull Rookies Cup Selection Event, Guadix, Spain, 2-4 October 2018.

The selection events allow the judges to see riders up close and in person

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

The team then sends out invitations to the selection event, which will take place at a later date in 2024. On average, six to eight riders from this selection process make it into the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup.
There were a total of 26 riders in the 2023 season and 26 riders from 17 nations will compete in the 2024 Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup.
05

Who are the judges ?

The decision on who makes the cut is currently in the hands of four judges:
  • Gustl Auginer - Austrian motorbike legend and Grand Prix winner.
  • Harald Bartol - Austrian Grand Prix rider and engineer.
  • Peter Clifford - MotoGP™ expert and former team owner of Red Bull Yamaha.
  • Daniel Ribalta - Rookies Cup rider and coach.
Red Bull Rookies Cup, Italian MotoGP. 1 June 2018.

Gustl Auinger has decades of experience to share with hopefuls

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

06

Equal opportunities for all: the bike

KTM Bike in the Red Bull Rookies Cup pit at the Spanish MotoGP on April 25, 2024.

Identical KTMs are under every rider in the championship

© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool

In the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup it's riding ability that counts. That's why all participants ride the exact same bike. Since 2013, a four-stroke machine from Moto3™ has been used: the KTM RC 250 R. It delivers 249.5cc at a weight of around 82kg and revs up to 13,000rpm.
Get Ready to Race reveals how the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup bike was created and how the design process went across five episodes.

6 min

Oil change

Vanessa Guerra is joined by Romà López to discuss the step-by-step process of an oil change for a race bike.

English

07

Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup 2024

A season in the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup isn't quite as long as in Moto3™, Moto2™ and MotoGP™. The championship includes one test and seven world championship rounds, all based in Europe. The 2024 season started on April 11–12 for the test in Jerez, Spain, with the season finale taking place on September 7–8 in Misano, Italy. See the full calendar below.

Round

Date

Venue

Test

April 11–12

Jerez, Spain

Round 1

April 27-8

Jerez,Spain

Round 2

May 11–12

Le Mans, France

Round 3

June 1–2

Mugello, Italy

Round 4

June 29-30

Assen, Netherlands

Round 5

August 17–18

Spielberg, Austria

Round 6

August 31–September 1

Aragon, Spain

Round 7

September 7–8

Misano, Italy

Find out more about the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup and keep up to date with the 2024 season here.

Part of this story

LE MANS

The Circuit des 24 Heures in Le Mans, France, is one of the longest circuits in the world.

France

Get Ready to Race

We reveal the design and build process behind the motorbike ridden in the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup.

1 Season · 5 episodes