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Huge interest in new R1 cup

Published: 29 September 2007

Updated: 24 November 2014

The new Yamaha R1 Cup scheduled to blast into action next year at British Superbike rounds is attracting huge interest.

When the series was launched at Donington Park recently over 150 prospective racers crammed into the Virgin Media hospitality to hear what was on offer.

Since then series boss Rob McElnea has had four riders from Australia call to find out how to enter.

He’s had interest from all over Europe and plans to take the bike to Milan for the international motorcycle show, as well as the NEC for the show in November.

“People know how much success with the R6 Cup and with the R1 Cup taking it to the next level it’s no surprise that it’s fired people’s imagination so much,” said Rob McElnea.

The R6 Cup was conceived as a way of fostering young talent and we’ve seen several riders including Tommy Hill, Cal Crutchlow, Billy McConnell and Tom Grant emerge from it to become front runners in the top British championships. 

Where the R1 Cup differs is that the concept is to give every rider an equal chance of success, pitting experience riders against rookies. All 36 identical R1s will be maintained by Rob McElnea Racing Company to ensure everyone starts equal.

The bikes will be stock R1s equipped with racing exhausts, Power Commanders, Ohlins race kitted forks and shocks, braided brake hoses and adjustable rear sets.

The bikes will also run slick tyres and each rider will have a tyre allocation per race weekend including slicks and wets, although at this stage, details of the tyre supplier have not been announced.

That’s largely due to the fact that there may be a single tyre supplier in British Superbikes and British Supersport next year and, depending on who gets that deal if it happens, obviously may affect all the other classes in the championship. 

Instead of a season-long campaign, the R1 Cup is split into two separate six-round championships, the aim being to spread the prize fund more widely and give riders who might hit problems early in the year a second bite at the cherry in the second half of the season.

There’s also two separate races as a supporting event at the Donington Park MotoGP
It costs £25,000 to enter the championship. The total prize fund of £100,000 is designed not just to award winners, but also spread the money among the field.

There is no guaranteed ride with the official Yamaha race team like there was with the R6 Cup but the overall champion from the Spring Cup and autumn Cup gets a superbike test ride with the Yamaha team.

Total Prize Fund: £100,000

R1 Spring Cup
Per Race: 1st £1500, 2nd £1000, 3rd £750, 4th £500, 5th £400, 6th £300, 7th £250, 8th £200, 9th £200, 10th £200. Pole position: £250. Holeshot: £200. Fastest lap: £200.
Spring Cup Champion: £5000.

MotoGP event
2 races overall 1st £2000, 2nd £1000, 3rd £500.

R1 Autumn Cup
Per Race: 1st £1500, 2nd £1000, 3rd £750, 4th £500, 5th £400, 6th £300, 7th £250, 8th £200, 9th £200, 10th £200. Pole position: £250. Holeshot: £200. Fastest lap: £200.
Spring Cup Champion: £5000.

Overall Yamaha R1 Cup Champion: £10,000 plus Superbike test with Yamaha team.

Under 25yrs Rookie Champion: £5000

Superpole champion: £2500

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