British Talent Cup set for radical shakeup

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The British Talent Cup series will undergo a radical shakeup for the 2020 season, as it effectively merges with the British Superbike Motostar class to remain as a one-make series for developing young riders while losing the selection system (and it’s paid-for rides) in the current programme run by MotoGP bosses Dorna.

The new series will become the premier youth development class within the UK, and will retain the standard-class Honda NSF250 four-stroke machines used by both the current British Talent Cup and by the highly successful Honda Standard class that runs as a race within a race in the current Motostar series.

Running alongside the 2020 BSB calendar at ten rounds and with two races at each round (visiting Assen, Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Knockhill, Oulton Park, Silverstone, Snetterton and Thruxton), series boss Stuart Higgs says it makes sense to amalgamate the various lightweight classes into one series.

“This evolution of the British Talent Cup is a good and logical step forward for prototype racing in the UK for the next three years. To have a single British championship on proven, high quality, affordable and equal machinery, with a guaranteed follow through to the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship, represents the best way for our partners Dorna to find the UK’s fastest and freshest potential MotoGP talent.”

Responding to criticisms aimed at the organisers in 2018 after inaugural champion Rory Skinner and runner-up Thomas Strudwick were left to find their own rides for 2019, it’s also been confirmed that the winner of the class will now progress to the Moto3 Junior World Championship for the following year, while second and third will secure places at the Red Bull Rookies selection event.

However, there’s likely to be some riders left deeply unhappy with the new class thanks to one key factor – an age cap that means it will be open only to riders aged between 12 and 17. That will exclude a number of the current Motostar’s more established small capacity specialists while also simultaneously removing any opportunity to run ex-Grand Prix specification machinery at a national level.

With some teams making a considerable investment in ex-Moto3 bikes from both Honda and KTM, they could well find themselves left financially out of tune to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer