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 Honda Racing Press Release Information

Germany Launch Honda Junior Cup Series. Honda Germany, the ADAC and Dorna have joined forces with Dark Dog International to promote the German version of the Honda Junior Cup.

The series, announced at the recent German GP at the Sachsenring, is a replica of the highly successful Spanish 'MoviStar Honda Junior Cup.' The 125cc Spanish race series has taken 14-year-old riders of no race experience from point zero to word championship points scoring talent in just three short years.

Klaus Wilkniss, Racing Co-ordinator of Honda Motor Europe North, said. "The decision to launch the Honda Junior Cup was taken because we realised that, with a few exceptions, our German riders were getting older and there was no new talent emerging." "We have all seen the wonderful success of the MoviStar Honda Cup. So, to prepare for the future of motorcycle racing in German we took the decision follow the same formula. We have the opportunity to work with the ADAC and Dorna to promote the Junior Cup in Germany with the support of Dark Dog International."

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, a strong supporter of the MoviStar Honda Cup, has pledged his support for the new series. "We started the MoviStar Honda Cup in Spain as we had no young riders that could eventually replace the stars of today." Explained Ezpeleta. "Dorna are responsible for MotoGP and it's important for us to ensure the future of grand prix racing.

With the huge interest in motorsport in Germany, and the incredible interest in the Sachsenring GP, combined with the professional skills of the ADAC, I'm sure we will see many good young German riders emerging from this series." The programme of events, and the rider selection process, is currently being developed to suit German requirements and will be announced in the not too distant future. The riders selected will contest the series aboard Honda RS125R production racers.

The 125cc single cylinder water cooled machine has been the mainstay of 125 GP racing since the late 1980s, carrying riders to six world championship titles and securing ten manufacturers crowns for Honda. "The material side is very important." Wilkniss said.

"Far better for these young riders to start racing with a real racing machine. It's a big step for a rider to go from a 30PS sports racing machine to a 45PS RS125R. Better they begin their career with the race machine. It will start them out at the right level, and save them time." Hermann Tomyczyk of the ADAC (the German Motorcycle Federation) who will run the series, said of the initiative.

"With this series we have a more refined, wider base to find new German talent. The series will be faster and with a better structure to bring the young riders through to the world championship." Energy drink manufacturers Dark Dog International have enthusiastically embraced motorcycle grand prix racing and are the personal sponsor of Katja Poensgen, the first woman to race in the 250cc grand prix world championship. Tanja L. Eckert, Marketing Manager of Dark Dog, is delighted the company will be associated with such a bold move.

"We are involved because of what motorsport means to the young people in Germany. The competition has a young dynamic image which complements that of Dark Dog. The Junior Cup provides us with a welcome opportunity to be involved in helping young German riders develop their talent in a professionally run series."

The series launch was well supported by the finest riders Germany has given grand prix racing. Five-times World Champion Anton 'Toni' Mang, Dirk Raudies 1993 World Champion in the 125cc class, Ralf Waldmann, Martin Wimmer, Helmut Bradl, Jurgen Fuchs, Stefan Prein and Harald Eckl, all voiced support for the series. Along with five-times 500cc World Champion Michael Doohan and the current 500 series leader Valentino Rossi. Dirk Raudies, who won his world championship title aboard an RS125R, hopes the new series will unearth real talent in Germany.

Talent to match that of current GP riders Toni Elias, Joan Olive and Dani Pedrosa, all graduates from the Spanish series. "This is a very good project. In this system, where everybody has about the same experience, and races the same machine, we will be able to judge who really has the talent necessary to make it to the top." Commented Raudies.

"In my day many boys had really good equipment and good tuners but didn't have the talent to go all the way in GP racing. Starting these boys racing on real racing machines is far better than the present ADAC Cup where they use sports bikes. It will be very interesting to watch these young riders progress." The 14 time grand prix winner concluded.

If they can start this in Germany when will the UK bodies get their act together and do the same for the up and coming UK riders?

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