Round one of the 2014 MotoGP season is here. Time to put up or shut up.
2013 European Junior Cup to Use All-New Honda Sportbike
Honda announced it is replacing KTM as the spec-bike supplier for the 2013 European Junior Cup. The youth racing series will use an all-new Honda sportbike to be revealed at the 2012 EICMA show in November, expected to be the CBR500 captured in spy photos.
The European Junior Cup is for young racers ages 14-19 and runs at select rounds of the World Superbike Championship. This season, the series used the KTM 690 Duke but when it was first introduced in 2011, the series used the Kawasaki Ninja 250. Ironically, it looks like the series will now use the CBR500 which would be Honda‘s response to the 250′s replacement, the Ninja 300.
The stakes for the 2013 European Junior Cup will be higher than in previous seasons. The winner of the 2013 Cup series will be awarded a spot on a Honda team in the 2014 UEM Superstock 600 European Championship, a stepping stone towards bigger and higher levels of racing.
“This is another exciting announcement that confirms Honda’s commitment to develop young racing talent,” says Carlo Fiorani, racing operations manager of Honda Motor Europe. “We are basing it on a pyramid structure that begins with national championships around the world, like the NSF100 and Hornet series, and builds to the very top level of world championship racing.”
Honda also announced it will support another youth racing series, supplying its CRF150 for the European 150 Championship, a series for youths 11-14 that runs at select European rounds of the World Motocross MX1 championship.