The inaugural season of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, a series aimed at promoting young racers towards a future competing at the highest level of international motorcycle racing, was launched on 21st March 2014 at the Losail circuit in Qatar. A total of 22 young Asian riders will take part in the series, which begins this weekend as part of the supporting bill for the 2014 Qatar MotoGP™ race.
A gathering of the senior figures from Shell Advance, championship organiser Dorna Sports and partners such as Honda, Red Bull, Air Asia and Alpinestars joined with international media present in Qatar to launch the eight-race series. Having come through a rigorous selection process in Malaysia last autumn and an intensive training camp at Aragón in Spain, the 22 riders were presented in their first experience of life in the spotlight of international sport.
Kar-Tai Koh, Global Brand Manager for Shell Advance said: “Shell Advance is honoured to support the creation of this new, exciting and competitive championship. Shell fuel and lubricants have been at the forefront of international motorcycle racing for many years, including our on-going partnership with Ducati Corse, and the creation of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup opens an exciting new chapter. We know that there is sufficient dedication among these young riders to discover some potential stars of MotoGP in the future, and we are delighted to support them in this critical early stage of their careers.”
Alberto Puig, leader of the successful MotoGP Academy and talent scout for the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, is credited with uncovering talents such as Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. Speaking at the launch of the new Asian series, he said: “Today marks the start of what will be an unprecedented chance for young motorcycle talents to showcase their skills in a dedicated Championship. There has been much to learn in a very short space of time, but we are committed to ensuring that every rider in the series reaches the very limit of his or her potential. A special note of thanks goes to Shell Advance for its support in making this championship possible and for helping to realise the dreams of these young riders.”