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European Talent Cup

The European Talent Cup is part of the FIM CEV Repsol Championship series where all competing riders use a Honda NSF 250 R (Type MR03) homologated motorcycle. The bikes are 4 stroke single cylinder machines.

Minimum weight

To try and keep a level playing field there is a minimum bike and rider weight which is 145kg. Ballast is added if the minimum weight is not met. After each race selected riders are weighed along with their machines to make sure they comply with this regulation. It is also policed during qualifying. We know this because there was an incident in the first round of the European Talent Cup in 2019 at Estoril. After finishing the second qualifying session one rider and bike combined weight was below the regulation minimum. The race officials erased the lap times from that session.

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One tyre supplier

The riders all use tyres from the official tyre supplier. This is another way which helps try and keep the series balanced and fair. The number of tyres available is restricted during the qualifying practice sessions. The series organisers allow a maximum of two slick rear tyres. There may be random checks during qualifying to make sure tyre allocations are not exceeded.

Further policing of the series occurs with engines. The Technical Director, under the supervision of Race Direction, can insist a team seal an engine used during qualifying practice. There are minimal changes that can be made to the motorcycles. Cylinder heads, camshafts, cam sprockets etcetera are not allowed to be modified. There can’t be any tampering with pistons or piston rings. Whilst quick shifters are allowed, no alterations are allowed to the crankshaft or the gearbox.

Standard ECU

The European Talent Cup riders also work with a standard ECU central unit. This comes fitted and cannot be tampered with. The software used to control it must also be standard. The Technical Director can request a download from the ECU to analyse the data. They also have the authority to ask a team to change their ECU with a new one from the manufacturer.

Telemetry is not allowed and the swing arm must remain as standard.

Teams can change the handlebars; use alternative brakes discs as long as they are the same material as the originals. Front and rear brake pads can be altered but overall little can be changed on the bike that effects its performance.

It is the riders’ talent on show

The result is that The European Talent Cup is a showcase of young motorcycle talent. The series allows the spectators and teams to see the best riders come through from a field of up to 38 riders on a race weekend.

It should help teams and managers identify those riders that have the potential to move on to full Moto3 machines and beyond, where teams are allowed to throw exorbitant sums of money at the bikes in order to enhance the skills of the rider.