The British Talent Cup was set up by Dorna as part of their programme to develop young motorcycle talent from the UK.
Dorna, the rights holder to MotoGP, have organised similar championships elsewhere, most notably the Asia Talent Cup, which has run for several years, and the European Talent Cup which started in 2017.
Motorcycle racing is a very expensive sport. The sport loses talented riders all the time because they are unable to continue to fund their progression in the sport.
For once, a sports organisers have seen the bigger picture and is keen to keep its best performers in the sport. Dorna, who has the rights to MotoGP, is able to see that having the best riders from around the world gives them a global product. They have realised that the long-term interests of their sport lie in the quality of the riders and the international mix of them too.
The result is they have set up a number of regional championships over the last few years to help support the best talent from those areas. There is the Asia Talent Cup, the European Talent Cup and now the British Talent Cup.
All these championships see the participants pass through a selection event. The best riders then compete in a championship on the exact same motorcycles. This means that it is easier to see who are the most talented riders. Which riders are developing and perhaps who might be battling as a future world champion in MotoGP in the coming years.
In the first year of the championship title went to Scotland’s Rory Skinner. He was in a season-long battle with Thomas Strudwick, who finished second and Max Cook, third. All three riders moved on at the end of the 2018 season. Other riders left too and the organisers brought in eleven new riders plus Jake Clark in a reserve role.
Being invited to compete in the championship is not just about being the fastest rider. The organisers are looking to see what potential improvement there could be. At the end of the season they evaluate the riders’ performance, how they have improved throughout the year and also their attitude. If they feel they will benefit from another year in the series then they could be invited back.