The Asia Talent Cup was created in 2014 with the aim of helping young riders on the path towards MotoGP. The championship is organised by Dorna so features on the support card for most of the Asian MotoGP and World Superbike rounds (including this weekend’s WSBK race in Malaysia). The riders are all in their mid-teens, the low capacity bikes are closely matched, and the races can get a little bit crazy.
In addition to the incidents and unorthodox manoeuvres that you’d expect from a field of young riders, the competition is incredibly close. At the most recent race in Qatar the top 7 riders were separated by just 4 tenths at the finish. That would be mighty close after qualifying, let alone a 30 minute race. Incredibly, the previous race was even closer. A photo finish was required to split the first four riders past the chequered flag because there were only 43 thousandths of a second between them. Where else can you finish 0.043 behind the winner and not get a podium!?
Yuki Ide led most of last year’s championship but lost the title when he crashed in the final race. He entered 2015 as favourite but is only 11th in the standings at the moment. That helps show how competitive the series is so if you catch the live stream on YouTube this weekend, be prepared for some wild racing.